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in Lucia’s
16th edition, July 2007

Front Cover: Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and of the Immaculate Heart
on a visit to the Loca do Cabeço (16 May 2000)
Back Cover: Fatima Basilica with the portraits of the two Little Shepherds,
after their Beatification on 13 May 2000

Edited by

Introduced by

Translated by
Dominican Nuns of Perpetual Rosary


Fatimæ, Julii 2007
? Antonius, Episc. Leir.-Fatimensis


The publication of this 13th edition of the first volume of Sister

Lucia’s Memoirs in the English language is complete, including the
text of Appendix III as presented in the 11th edition.
To the first four Memoirs, written by the command of the Bishop
of Leiria, Jose Alves Correira da Silva, and to the Appendices I and
II, accounts of the apparitions in Pontevedra and Tuy – in fulfillment
of the promise of 13 July 1917: “... I will come to ask for the Conse-
cration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of
Reparation on the first Saturdays” are now joined the text of the
important document entitled “The Message of Fatima”, with the
third part of the “secret”, which John Paul II entrusted to the Sa-
cred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith with the charge of
making it public after preparing a suitable commentary.
Thus, with the publication of the third part of the “secret” re-
ceived from Our Lady by the three Little Shepherds on 13 July
1917 (see Appendix III), the entire Message of Fatima is now con-
tained in this first volume.
These first four “Memoirs”, besides the Apparitions of the An-
gel and Our Lady, also describe how the Little Shepherds corre-
sponded heroically to the requests of Our Lady, and in them they
point out to everyone, and in a special way to the children, a sure
way to reach holiness.

Those entitled Fifth Memoir” (about her father) and “Sixth

Memoir” (about her mother) written by Sister Lucia, in the Carmel
of Coimbra, are published in a separate volume “Sister Lucia’s
Memoirs II”.

The Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto (13 May 2000)

should mark a new era for the Church.
“‘Father, to You I offer praise, for you have revealed these things
to the merest children.’ Today Jesus’praise takes the solemn form
of the beatification of the Little Shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta.
With this rite the Church wishes to place on the candelabrum these
two candles which God lit to illumine humanity in its dark and anx-

ious hours ... May the message of their lives remain always alive to
shine on the path of humanity” (Sermon of Pope John Paul II, in
Fatima, during the Mass of Beatification)

The contents of these Memoirs well justifies the great effort

spent in the preparation of this new edition.
With the kind permission of the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, Serafim
de Sousa Ferreira e Silva, we have used the original manuscripts
of the first four Memoirs.
We have, therefore, entrusted the work of this translation to
the care of the English speaking community of Dominican Nuns of
the Perpetual Rosary of the Monastery Pius XII, Fatima.

We availed also of the works of the Claretian, Fr. Dr. Joaquin

Maria Alonso, (†1981) and we relied on the help of Fr. Dr. Luciano
Cristino, Director of the Fatima Sanctuary Services for Study and

Herewith, we offer them, in our name and that of all the read-
ers of this volume, the expression of our gratitude for their precious

Thus, in this new edition, is given you, dear reader, the cer-
tainty possible of the words of Sister Lucia, though corrected in
orthography and in the presentation of the dialogues, hoping that
they penetrate the very depths of your being and there take root in
laborious docility to the Spirit.

We give thanks to the Lord for the grace of being able to have
available today in our hands the complete work about the Mes-
sage of Fatima, which will help so much to know and to love – more
and more – the Holy Mother of God and our Mother.

Fr. Louis Kondor, SVD.

Vice-Postulator for the Causes of Canonization
of BIesseds Francisco and Jacinta


Before a proper introduction to the entire publication of the

Memoirs, the reader will appreciate a short presentation of our in-
tentions, the limits we have established for ourselves, and the work-
ing procedure adopted by us.
This edition of the Memoirs of Sister Lucia is a true and faithful
translation of the Portuguese text of the original letters, which are
kept in the Episcopal archives in Leiria. We are indebted to His
Excellency the Bishop, Most Reverend Dom Serafim Ferreira e Silva,
for his permission for its publication. This is, of course, not a critical
edition in the real sense of the word. We are translating the original
texts, and reproducing the words of the authoress herself, with every
possible accuracy and reliability. The final and critical edition is being
published in Portuguese as a detailed work.
The present work is, therefore, a popular and simple edition of
a valuable text, which will astonish the world. We are not calling it
«popular» in order to be exempted from the demands of literary
criticism, even though we do not wish to meet all of these demands
here; for instance, it is not necessary to draw our readers’ attention
to all the references and sources supporting our statements. They
can rest assured that, in this introduction and in the notes, we shall
not make any assertions which we shall not substantiate in the
critical work which we hope to publish before long.
Such a «popular» work, however, must have certain limits. It is
not necessary to multiply references and notes. In order that the
reader may understand the text without difficulty, we are giving the
necessary explanations wherever we feel that the choice of words
or the train of thought of the authoress require elucidation. This is
also the basis of our working procedure. We did not think it advis-
able to edit such texts as those of Lucia – which in themselves are

exceptionally transparent and unpretentious – without making the
normal divisions originating from the text itself. We have, therefore,
divided the Memoirs into sections, chapters and paragraphs, as
suggested by the very text itself or its logical structure. In order to
make it clear to the reader that the headings have been chosen by
us and not by Sister Lucia, we have had them printed in italics. We
hope in this way to provide the reader with a brief pause where the
descriptions are lengthy, and that the headings will at the same
time prepare the mind for the contents of what is to come.
The notes at the end of the respective page are to assist the
reader in overcoming certain difficulties, i.e. to explain various cir-
cumstances that appear strange at first, or other points without
which some aspects of the original text cannot be understood.
In the first place, we are presenting a brief biography of Sister
Lucia, followed by a description of her literary abilities, and finally a
general introduction to her Memoirs.


«On the 30th day of March, 1907, a female child was bap-
tised, of the name Lucia, born at Aljustrel... on the 22nd day of
March of the same year, at 7 o’clock in the evening.» This is the
wording shown in the Parish Register. Her parents were António
dos Santos and Maria Rosa, residents of Aljustrel, a hamlet be-
longing to the parish of Fatima.
As the youngest of seven children, six girls and one boy, Lucia
was the family favourite and was surrounded with affection from
her earliest childhood. Although the family met with many troubles
and misfortunes, Lucia’s mother bore them all in an exemplary
Christian spirit. At the age of six, Lucia received her first Holy Com-
munion, the account of which will move our readers to joy and won-
der. Family circumstances obliged her to start out in life straight
away as a shepherdess. At first, in 1915, her companions were the
girls and boys of Aljustrel and its surroundings. As from 1917, her
cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were her sole companions.
That was the year in which the Blessed Virgin appeared. Lucia had
a special role during the apparitions, as the Vision spoke only to
her, and gave her a message which was only to be revealed at a

future date. She lived and suffered, together with Francisco and
Jacinta, on account of the apparitions. She alone has remained on
earth for a longer period, in order to fulfil her mission.
The Blessed Virgin actually requested her to learn to read...
She started attending school, however, only after the apparitions;
but with her talents and her good memory she learned to read and
write very quickly.
As soon as the apparitions were over, of course, Lucia found
herself in the position of a “visionary”, with all the dangers resulting
therefrom. Something, therefore, had to be done about her. One of
the primary interests of the new Bishop of the re-established Dio-
cese of Leiria was her education; he tried to keep her away from
the dangers threatening her in an atmosphere so permeated with
the extraordinary. On the morning of June 17th, 1921, she entered
the College of the Sisters of St. Dorothy at Vilar, which is now a
suburb of Porto. We are giving a description of what she looked like
in those days which, by the way, corresponds perfectly to the
well-known photographs: “High and broad head; large brown, lively
eyes; thin eye-brows; flat nose, wide mouth, thick lips, round chin.
The face radiates something supernatural. Hair light and fine; of
slight build, but tall for her age; 13 years and six months. Strong
features, but a likeable face. Lively, intelligent, but modest and with-
out presumption. Hands of normal size, roughened by work.”
As a young girl of 14 years and three months, Lucia entered
the College of Porto, and there she received an excellent moral
and religious formation. Her schooling was rather inadequate how-
ever, as it went barely beyond elementary levels. From the begin-
ning, she was thoroughly trained in domestic work. Nevertheless,
with her great ability, her good memory, her perseverance and her
serious behaviour, this young girl succeeded in acquiring a fairly
complete education.
Even before she entered the College, Lucia already felt drawn
to dedicate herself to God in the religious life. The intensely pious
life of the College, however, caused her to reflect more deeply, and
her first thought went to the Carmelites... But the example of her
teachers and her gratitude towards them made her decide to enter
the Institute of St. Dorothy. The Portuguese Novitiate was at that
time, 1921-1925, at Tuy, where Lucia entered on October 24th,

1925, at the age of 18. She went first to the house at Pontevedra,
where she spent some months as a postulant. This house was si-
tuated in a side street known as “Travesía de Isabel II”, and there
she stayed from the 25th October, 1925, to the 20th July, 1926.
She then went to the Novitiate House of Tuy to complete her pos-
tulancy, and began her novitiate with her Clothing on 2nd October,
1926. After two years, she made her profession of Vows on the 3rd
October, 1928. She remained on in the same house, but with the
professed Sisters, until she took her Perpetual Vows on the 3rd Oc-
tober, 1934. A few days later, she was transferred to the Convent of
Pontevedra and only returned to Tuy in May, 1937, where she re-
mained until she was sent to Portugal at the end of May, 1946.
After a few days’ visit to the Cova da Iria and Aljustrel, where
she identified the places of the Apparitions, Sister Lucia was as-
signed to the house at Sardão in Vila Nova de Gaia near Porto.
And finally, when the desire she had had for a long time to live in
seclusion and solitude re-awakened, she received, by kind favour
of Pope Pius Xll, permission to change over to the Discalced
Carmelites, whom she joined on March 25th, 1948. And there she
lived a life of prayer and penance until her holy death, which oc-
curred on 13 February 2005, at the great age of almost 98 years.


With regard to everything written concerning Fatima, one can-

not but agree with what the Portuguese writer, Antero de Figueiredo,
enthusiastically wrote about his own book: “But the light, the won-
derful light of this book, has its origin in the pure, deep and admira-
bly simple soul of the seer, Lucia of Jesus.” First of all, let us men-
tion that Lucia’s manuscripts do indeed reveal a certain lack of
literary education. However, Lucia’s great natural talents have made
up for what would otherwise have been a deficiency that could
scarcely have been remedied. She admits more than once and
quite openly how “incapable and inadequate” she is. To quote her
own words, she says: “Even my handwriting is scarcely present-
able.” Whatever her deficiency, it does not impede her clear and
distinct construction of sentences; sometimes indeed, she writes
in an elegant and elevated style.

Her literary qualities could be summarized as follows; accuracy
and clarity of thought; delicate and deep feeling; lively imagination
and a truly artistic sense of humour, giving charm to the narrative; a
sensitive irony that never hurts; an extraordinary memory as far as
details and circumstances are concerned. Lucia’s dialogues pour
forth as though the people concerned were present in person. In her
imagination, she sees the scenery as if it were before her eyes. She
describes Jacinta and Francisco, her confessors and others, with
words which disclose an unusual psychological insight. She is fully
conscious of her deviations, and always returns with much skill to
her starting-point.
In a way, her style is influenced occasionally by the somewhat
flowery conventual literature, but her naturalness, vivacity and joy
always triumph. Who could forget that last night when she bade
farewell to the beloved places where the apparitions occurred, on
the eve of her deparure for Porto? Who could not admire the graceful
way in which she describes the shoes of a certain Canon with their
silver buckles? How could anybody not be surprised at the ease
with which she records those “Songs of the Mountain?”
From the very beginning, Lucia knows how to express what
she wants to say, and she says it in her own way. Aided by her vivid
imagination, she succeeds in writing what she wants to write, and
even if domestic work momentarily distracts her, she continues her
writing without interrupting either a coherent narrative or the logic
of her reflections. Something like that would not be possible with-
out great mental composure.
It is true that Lucia felt “inspired” to write, as she frequently
mentions... Her conviction that she could feel a Divine Presence
when writing must not be understood in the strict sense of the word
“inspiration”, i.e. in the nature of prophecy, as a hairsplitting critic
described it. She feels that in writing she is “helped” by God.
A careful reading of her work, however, makes one recognize
immediately that Lucia does not mean to use such words in their
fullest sense. She herself gives us an explicit answer by saying:
“The word ‘inspired’ indicates that there is a mental stimulus to our
Therefore, it is not a question of “inerrancy” as applied to Holy
Scripture. Lucia may be deceived in the mystical interpretation of

her experiences, because of the very difficulty of such ‘interpreta-
tion’. At times, she herself is in doubt as to whether it is God who is
talking to her; at other times, she confesses that it would be impos-
sible to make known something which she has experienced through
a mystical grace. Intelligent criticism will discover some mistakes in
dates, events and circumstances. Even if she assures us in critical
moments that she is indeed giving us “ipsissima verba”, i.e. the
very words of the Blessed Virgin herself, this really means nothing
other than her effort to be as honest as possible. What Lucia al-
ways feels sure about – and she says so – is the meaning of her
As far as dates are concerned, Lucia’s uncertainty is well
known; for one thing, she, Francisco and Jacinta, being children,
could count neither days nor months, not to mention years. Thus
Lucia has no recollection of the dates on which the angel appeared;
she can only remember them approximately on account of the sea-
sons, which made a strong impression on these small mountain
children. The main reason for this weaker aspect of her memory
can certainly be found in the realistic character of Lucia’s reminis-
cences, which is always directed towards the essential.
Moreover, the reader of Lucia’s reminiscences must not forget
a guiding principle governing the interpretation of the messages,
which mystics receive in connection with their supernatural experi-
ences: it is always a question of “interpretation”, and this does not
necessarily mean that everything which the mystics say, corre-
sponds word for word to the Divine Messages. This does not imply,
however, that one should only believe in what is merely natural in
the extraordinary phenomena she experienced.
We should like to point out a final difficulty, so that the reader
will be better prepared for reading these wonderful texts. One has
to differentiate between a Message from Heaven as presented to
us by Sister Lucia, and the “reflection” on it or “interpretation” of it
given by her.
Within the difficulties inherent in mystical interpretation, the
former gives us a greater guarantee of truthfulness than the latter.
If God has given such obvious signs, in order to manifest His Pres-
ence in the events at Fatima, then it can be taken for granted that
He also intervened in a special manner, so that His Message, trans-

mitted through Mary, would be faithfully passed on by the little seers
chosen for that purpose. As we assert that God has given a Mes-
sage of Salvation to His Church, we must also accept that He has
bestowed upon it the charism of Truth to pass this Message on to us
without error. We often observe Lucia “thinking” about words and
events... She is thereby a privileged interpreter, but only and always
an interpreter. In this regard, therefore, Sister Lucia’s words need
not have that special assistance which we claim for the first-mentioned


We are calling the manuscripts which we place before the

reader “reminiscences”, because they are indeed most similar to
this kind of literature, even if they sometimes look like letters or
autobiographies. From the outset, Sister Lucia had no literary am-
bition in the writing of these admirable documents. She wrote be-
cause she was requested to do so. We can rest assured that she
has never written anything of her own accord. That does not mean
that, in the course of her work, she is not carried away occasionally
by the events she mentions, or by the impression that she is in-
deed creating “literature”. However, this literature is always clear
and spontaneous, and an elegant style emerges without effort or
intention on her part.
Sister Lucia was in nowise concerned about the kind of litera-
ture she was writing, and she had no idea at all that the word “remi-
niscences” could mean anything other than memory. She mentions
once that she did not know how to carry out the order she had
received to give an account of Jacinta’s life, and therefore quite
naturally turned to the Bishop as if she were telling him a story
based on her own recollections. Therefore, these manuscripts ad-
dressed to the Bishop of Leiria should not be regarded as long
letters. This procedure was a mere fiction, a literary one in this
case, in order to get out of the difficulty. What Lucia really wants is
to write down her reminiscences, and for that reason they are enti-
tled to be called “reminiscences”, because this is indeed a kind of
literature in which the author wants to convey recollections relating
to himself or others, to his own experience or to that of others.

By no means, however, could these manuscripts be called a
biography or autobiography in the strict sense of the word. Lucia
did not and could not intend to submit to us either a biography of
Jacinta or Francisco, or an autobiography. It was only a question of
a number of recollections relating to the principal facts in the lives
of Jacinta and of Francisco and, of course, of Lucia herself as well,
although it was not her intention to dwell on herself.
Biography and autobiography, however, differ from “reminis-
cences”, inasmuch as the latter does not wish to convey more than
just reminiscences. The former kinds of literature aim at something
more complete and systematic, and are based, not on mere recol-
lections, but on an analysis of documents. In her work, however,
Lucia had only to look back and write down her recollections! Since
these concerned the lives of Francisco and Jacinta, they inevitably
concerned her own as well. On the other hand, everything con-
nected with the Apparitions of the Lady was seen no longer as a
simple recollection, but as a presence impressed upon her soul as
though by fire. She herself points out to us that these things remain
impressed upon her soul in such a way that she could not possibly
forget them.
These reminiscences of Sister Lucia, therefore, are rather like
re-reading inscriptions which are forever engraven in the deepest
depths of the soul of the authoress. She appears to be “seeing”
rather than “remembering”. The ease of her “remembering” is in-
deed so great that she has only to “read”, as it were, from her soul.


In the introduction to each Memoir we develop in detail, the

central theme to which she refers.
However, we think it important to note here that one of chief
purposes of "Fatima in Lucia's Own Words" is to make the lives of
Blessed Francisco and Jacinta better known and show up their
virtues for imitation.There is no doubt that from the outset the natu-
ral frankness and friendliness of the little brother and sister attract
us. And because we are of the opinion that this may be the first
step towards gaining greater affection and to the point of wanting
to imitate them, we are going to record the very first historic descrip-
tion which, we believe, exists of them.
We refer to the famous letter of Dr. Carlos de Azevedo Mendes
to his fiancée, in which he gives his impressions of a visit to Aljustrel
and Cova da Iria on 7th September 1917.
He describes Jacinta and how she impressed him: “Jacinta,
little and very shy, gradually came up close to me. I sat her on the
top of a chest and myself near by. I then observed her very closely.
I assure you she is an angel. A red foliaged scarf, with the ends
tied back, covered her head. It was old and torn. She wore a little
coat which did not exactly excel in cleanliness, and a redish skirt of
enormous width as used in this region. That was how our angel
was dressed. I would like to describe her face, but I feel I shall only
be able to give a very rough idea. The headscarf as she wore it
accentuates her features. She has lively attractive black eyes, an
angelical expression and captivating kindness; the whole make-up
is remarkable and I cannot quite lay my finger on what it is that
draws us. She is very bashful and we had difficulty in hearing the
little she said in reply to my questions. After having spent some
time talking and playing with her, Francisco arrived. Jacinta started
to gain confidence. A little while after Lucia appeared. You can't
imagine Jacinta's pleasure at seeing her. She was all smiles and
ran to her and never left her side. It was a wonderful scene...”
The shorter evidence of Canon Formigão, tallies perfectly with
that above: “She is called Jacinta de Jesus and is seven years
old... Tall for her age, slightly slender but nevertheless one would
not call her thin, well proportioned features, brownish complexion,

modestly dressed, her skirt right down to her ankles, her appear-
ance is of a healthy child, perfectly normal both physically and
morally. Surprised by the presence of strangers, who accompa-
nied me, and whom she was not expecting to find, she was at first
greatly embarrassed replying in monosyllables, and in a tone of
voice which was almost inaudible, to questions which I put to her.”
Dr. Carlos Mendes says little of Francisco, nevertheless the
portrait given is complete and expressive: “... Francisco arrived. A
stocking-cap well pulled down, a very short jacket, his shirt peep-
ing under his waistcoat, tight trousers, in fact quite a little man. A
handsome boy. Bright look and mischievous face. He replies to my
questions in a straightforward manner.”
Twenty days later, on the 27th September, Canon Formigão also
went to interview the children at Aljustrel. He first interviewd Fran-
cisco. For the moment the context of his replies is irrelevant, but the
following impressions of the learned and pious priest are of interest.
“A nine year old boy entered the room we were in, without hesitation,
keeping his cap on, doubtlessly because he did not remember that
he ought to take it off. I invited him to sit down beside me. He obeyed
immediately and showed no reluctance.”.
These two extracts from true and original documents show us
that Francisco before and during the time of the apparitions of Our
Lady, was a gay, lively and straightforward shepherd-boy, a perfect
“serrano” (mountain lad) without any problems, moral defects or
complexes of any kind.

The daily newspaper O Século, for 15.10.1917, published for the first time a
photograph of the little shepherds broadcasting the news of the ‘Miracle of
the Sun’ throughout the country
Francisco (9), Lucia (10) and Jacinta (7) near the little holmoak tree
on which Our Lady appeared on the 13th day from May to October 1917.

The little chapel built in 1918, on the very spot where the apparitions took
The Statue which, since 13. 6.1920, is venerated in the Chapel of Apparitions.
It was solemnly crowned on 13.5.1946 by Cardinal Masella, and encrusted
inside the crown is the bullet found in the Pope’s mobile after the attack of
The three little shepherds in front of the The jail at Vila Nova de Ourem where
arch that was erected at the site of the the little shepherds were taken on
apparitions for the 13th October 1917 August 13, 1917

The Hungarian Way of the Cross built

on the ‘Little Shepherds’ path’ links
the Cova da Iria to the other appari-
The chapel built at the place of the tion sites and to Aljustrel, the birth-
apparition at Valinhos place of the three seers.
The home of Lucia’s parents The house where Francisco and
Jacinta were born and where
Francisco died

The parents, brothers and sister of

Maria Rosa (1869-1942), Lucia’s Jacinta and Francisco. The Father,
mother, with various members of the Manuel Pedro Marto (†1957) and the
family and friends mother, Olimpia de Jesus (†1956)
Die Kirche von Fatima zur Zeit der
The Parish Church of Fatima at the The baptismal font of Fatima Church
time of the Apparitions where the three little seers were

The little shepherds beneath the

The statue of Our Lady of the Rosary cross in the courtyard of the Parish
in the Parish Church of Fatima Church
Fr. Manuel Marques Ferreira, parish Fr Faustino J. Jacinto Ferreira, parish
priest of Fatima from 1914 to 1917 priest of Olival

Canon Manuel Nunes Formigão who

had numerous interviews with the Fr. Cruz who heard Lucia’s first
little shepherds in 1917 confession
The three little shepherds in the garden of Francisco’s and Jacinta’s home

Lucia and Jacinta at Reixida

(September 1917) Francisco
Monument that represents the third
apparition of the Angel at Loca do
Loca do Cabeço Cabeço

The well on the ground belonging to Monument commemorating the

Lucia’s parents where the second second apparition of the Angel at the
apparition of the Angel took place well of Lucia’s garden
Lucia’s room in Pontevedra where on Lucia’s room in Pontevedra now
10.12.1920 Our Lady requested the converted into a chapel
Communion of Reparation on the First

Convent of the Dorotheans in Tuy

where Our Lady requested the A painting of the vision of the Holy
Consecration of Russia Trinity and Our Lady
To fulfil Our Lady’s request, Pius XII consecrated the whole human race to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on 31.10.1942.

In Rome, before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope John Paul II with all
the bishops of the church, renewed the consecration of the world and Russia
(25th March, 1984)
D. José Alves Correia da Silva, Bishop of Leiria, received the text of the third
part of the secret, in 1944. In 1957 it was sent to Rome to the Holy Office.
Cardinal Sodano reveals the third part of the secret on 13th May, 2000.

Drawing illustrating the third part of the secret (J. Gil).

Painting illustrating the Apparition of 13th July 1917 (Sr. M.Conceição, OCD)
Jacinta’s incorrupt body on the Canonical identification of Francis-
opening of her coffin on 12.9.1935 co’s mortal remains on 17.2.1952

After beatifying Francisco and Jacinta, John Paul II visited the tombs of the
new Blesseds.
The solemn moment of the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, on

Pope John Paul II with Sister Lucia (13.5.2000). At the moment of the
Beatification, the immense multitude warmly applauded the new Blesseds
The Carmel in Coimbra where Lucia Statue of the Immaculate Heart of
lived from 25.3.1948 until 13.2.2005 Mary in the Carmel of Coimbra

Lucia visiting her family home and the places of the apparitions on 16.5.2000

This is certainly not the first manuscript we have from Sister Lucia’s
pen, but it is the first long document that she wrote. Previously, we
have had letters, many letters in fact, interrogations, reports and so
on; but now we have a long and important document before us. If
Lucia has not written it of her own accord, how then has it been ac-
On 12th September, 1935, the mortal remains of Jacinta were
taken from Vila Nova de Ourém to the cemetery of Fatima. On this
occasion various photographs were taken of the body, one of which
was sent by the Bishop to Sister Lucia, who was at that time in the
convent of Pontevedra.
On 17th November, 1935, Lucia, writing in acknowledgement,
said among other things: “Thank you very much for the photographs.
I can never express how much I value them, especially those of Jacinta.
I felt like removing the wrappings in order to see all of her...l was so
enraptured! My joy at seeing the closest friend of my childhood again
was so great. I cherish the hope that the Lord, for the glory of the most
Blessed Virgin, may grant her the aureola of holiness.She was a child
only in years. As to the rest, she already knew how to be virtuous, and
to show God and the most holy Virgin her love through sacrifice...”
These very vivid recollections of her small cousin, Jacinta, caused
the Bishop to request Lucia to write down everything she could still
remember about her. The manuscript, which she began during the
second week of December, was actually completed on Christmas Day,
1935, that is, in less than a fortnight. This manuscript which Lucia
composed forms a perfect whole; it presents a picture of Jacinta, whose
soul is illumined through and through by the very light of Fatima, the
Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The main purpose of this manuscript is to give us a picture of
Jacinta as it is reflected in Lucia’s reminiscences. Consequently, she
did not intend to write a “story” of the Apparitions for us. These form,
as it were, a frame from which the picture of Jacinta shines forth. The
language throughout is simple, and even, one might say, childlike at
times, whenever the context calls for it. Lucia never lost her flair for
realism, whatever the events she was describing.


1. Prayer and Obedience

J. M. J.
Your Excellency, 1
Having implored the protection of the most holy Hearts of Je-
sus and of Mary, our tender Mother, and sought light and grace at
the foot of the Tabernacle, so as to write nothing that would not be
solely and exclusively for the glory of Jesus and of the most Blessed
Virgin, I now take up this work, in spite of the repugnance I feel,
since I can say almost nothing about Jacinta without speaking ei-
ther directly or indirectly about my miserable self. I obey, neverthe-
less, the will of Your Excellency, which, for me, is the expression of
the will of our good God. I begin this task, then, asking the most
holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary to deign to bless it, and to make
use of this act of obedience to obtain the conversion of poor sin-
ners, for whom Jacinta so generously sacrificed herself.
I know Your Excellency does not expect a well-written account
from me, for you know how incapable and inadequate I am. I am
going to tell you, then, what I can remember about this soul, for by
God’s grace I was her most intimate confidante. I have such a high
regard for her holiness, that I greatly esteem and respect her and
dearly cherish her memory.

2. Keeping Secrets

In spite of my good will to be obedient, I trust Your Excellency

will permit me to withhold certain matters concerning myself as
well as Jacinta, that I would not wish to be read before I enter
eternity. You will not find it strange that I should reserve for eternity
certain secrets and other matters. After all, is it not the Blessed
Virgin herself who sets me the example? Does not the Holy Gos-
pel tell us that Mary kept all things in her heart? 2. And who better

Dom José Alves Correia da Silva, 1872-1957, first Bishop of the re-established
Diocese of Leiria to which Fatima belongs.
Luke 2,19-51

than this Immaculate Heart could have revealed to us the secrets
of Divine Mercy? Nonetheless, she kept them to herself as in a
garden enclosed, and took them with her to the palace of the Di-
vine King.
I remember, besides, a saying that I heard from a holy priest,
when I was only eleven years old. Like so many others, he came to
question me, and asked among other things, about a matter of
which I did not wish to speak. After he had exhausted his whole
repertoire of questions, without succeeding in obtaining a satisfac-
tory answer on this subject, realizing perhaps that he was touching
on too delicate a matter, the good priest gave me his blessing and
said: “You are right, my child. The secret of the king’s daughter
should remain hidden in the depths of her heart.”
At the time, I did not understand the meaning of what he said,
but I realized that he approved of my manner of acting. I did not
forget his words, however, and I understand them now. This saintly
priest was at that time Vicar of Torres Novas 3. Little does he know
all the good that these few words did for my soul, and that is why I
remember him with such gratitude.
One day, however, I sought the advice of a holy priest regarding
my reserve in such matters, because I did not know how to answer
when they asked me if the most Blessed Virgin had not told me
anything else as well. This priest, who was then Vicar of Olival 4,
said to us: “You do well, my little ones, to keep the secret of your
souls between God and yourselves. When they put that question to
you, just answer: ‘Yes, she did say more, but it’s a secret’. If they
question you further on this subject, think of the secret that this
Lady made known to you, and say: ‘Our Lady told us not to say
anything to anybody; for this reason, we are saying nothing’. In this
way, you can keep your secret under cover of Our Lady’s.”
How well I understood the explanation and guidance of this
venerable old priest!
I am already taking too much time with these preliminaries,
and Your Excellency will be wondering what is the purpose of it all.
I must see if I can make a start with my account of what I can

Fr . António de Oliveira Reis, died 1962, at that time Vicar of Torres Novas.
Fr. Faustino José Jacinto Ferreira, died 1924.

remember of Jacinta’s life. As I have no free time at my disposal, I
must make the most of the hours when we work in silence, to recall
and jot dawn, with the aid of paper and pencil which I keep hidden
under my sewing, all that the most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary
want me to remember.

3. To Jacinta

Swift through the world

You went a-flying,
Dearest Jacinta,
In deepest suffering
Jesus loving.
Forget not my plea
And prayer to you:
Be ever my friend
Before the throne
Of the Virgin Mary,
Lily of candour,
Shining pearl,
Up there in heaven
You live in glory,
Seraphim of love,
With your little brother
At the Master’s feet
Pray for me.5


1. Her Natural Characteristics

Your Excellency,
Before the happenings of 1917, apart from the ties of rela-
tionship that united us, no other particular affection led me to pre-
fer the companionship of Jacinta and Francisco to that of any other
child. On the contrary, I sometimes found Jacinta’s company quite
Despite her inadequate schooling, Lucia had quite a talent for poetry, and
wrote various poems.

disagreeable, on account of her oversensitive temperament. The
slightest quarrel which arose among the children when at play was
enough to send her pouting into a corner – ‘tethering the donkey’,
as we used to say. Even the coaxing and caressing that children
know so well how to give on such occasions, were still not enough
to bring her back to play; she herself had to be allowed to choose
the game, and her partner as well. Her heart, however, was well
disposed. God had endowed her with a sweet and gentle character
which made her at once lovable and attractive.
I don’t know why, but Jacinta and her brother Francisco had a
special liking for me, and almost always came in search of me
when they wanted to play. They did not enjoy the company of the
other children, and they used to ask me to go with them to the well
down at the bottom of the garden belonging to my parents.
Once we arrived there, Jacinta chose which games we were
to play. The ones she liked best were usually ‘pebbles’ and ‘but-
tons’, which we played as we sat on the stone slabs covering the
well, in the shade of an olive tree and two plum trees. Playing ‘but-
tons’ often left me in great distress, because when they called us in
to meals, I used to find myself minus my buttons. More often than
not, Jacinta had won them all, and this was enough to make my
mother scold me. I had to sew them on again in a hurry. But how
could I persuade Jacinta to give them back to me, since besides
her pouty ways she had another little defect: she was possessive!
She wanted to keep all the buttons for the next game, so as to
avoid taking off her own! It was only by threatening never to play
with her again that I succeeded in getting them back!
Not a few times, I found myself unable to do what my little
friend wanted.
One of my older sisters was a weaver and the other a seam-
stress, and both were at home all day. The neighbours, therefore,
used to ask my mother if they could leave their children in my par-
ents’ yard, while they themselves went out to work in the fields. The
children stayed with me and played, while my sisters kept an eye
on us. My mother was always willing to do this, although it meant
considerable waste of time for my sisters. I was therefore charged
with amusing the children, and watching to see that they did not fall
into the pool in the yard. Three large figtrees sheltered the children
from the scorching sun. We used their branches for swings, and an

old threshing floor for a dining room. On days like these, when
Jacinta came with her brother to invite me to go with them to our
favourite nook, I used to tell them I could not go, because my mother
had ordered me to stay where I was. Then, disappointed but re-
signed, the two little ones joined in our games. At siesta time, my
mother used to give her children their catechism lessons, espe-
cially when Lent was drawing near, for as she said:
“I don’t want to be ashamed of you, when the priest questions
you on your catechism at Easter time.”
All the other children, therefore, were present at our catechism
lessons and Jacinta was there as well.

2. Her Sensitiveness

One day, one of these children accused another of improper

talk. My mother reproved him very severely, pointing out that one
does not say such nasty things, because they are sinful and dis-
please the Child Jesus; and that those who commit such sins and
don’t confess them, go to hell. Little Jacinta did not forget the les-
son. The very next time the children came, she said:
“Will your mother let you go today?”
“Then I’m going with Francisco over to our yard.”
“And why won’t you stay here?”
“My mother doesn’t want us to stay when those other children
are here. She told us to go and play in our own yard. She doesn’t
want me to learn these nasty things, which are sins and which the
Child Jesus doesn’t like.”
Then she whispered in my ear:
“If your mother lets you, will you come to my house?”
“Then go and ask her.”
And taking her brother by the hand, she went home.
Speaking of Jacinta’s favourite games, one of them was ‘for-
feits’. As Your Excellency probably knows, the loser has to do what-
ever the winner tells him. Jacinta loved to send the loser chasing
after butterflies, to catch one and bring it to her. At other times, she
demanded some flower of her own choosing. One day, we were
playing forfeits at my home, and I won, so this time it was I who told

her what to do. My brother was sitting at a table, writing. I told her to
give him a hug and a kiss, but she protested:
“That, no! Tell me to do some other thing. Why don’t you tell
me to go and kiss Our Lord over there?”
There was a crucifix hanging on the wall.
“Alright”, I answered, “get up on a chair, bring the crucifix over
here, kneel down and give Him three hugs and three kisses: one
for Francisco, one for me, and the other for yourself.”
“To Our Lord, yes, I’ll give as many as you like”, and she ran to
get the crucifix. She kissed it and hugged it with such devotion that
I have never forgotten it. Then, looking attentively at the figure of
Our Lord, she asked:
“Why is Our Lord nailed to a cross like that?”
“Because He died for us.”
“Tell me how it happened”, she said.

3. Her Love for the Crucified Saviour

In the evenings my mother used to tell stories. My father and

my older sisters told us fairy stories about magic spells, princesses
robed in gold and royal doves. Then along came my mother with
stories of the Passion, St. John the Baptist, and so on. That is how
I came to know the story of Our Lord’s Passion. As it was enough
for me to have heard a story once, to be able to repeat it in all its
details, I began to tell my companions, word for word, what I used
to call Our Lord’s Story. Just then, my sister 6 passed by, and no-
ticed that we had the crucifix 7 in our hands. She took it from us and
scolded us, saying that she did not want us to touch such holy
things. Jacinta got up and approached my sister, saying:
“Maria, don’t scold her! I did it. But I won’t do it again.”
My sister caressed her, and told us to go and play outside,
because we left nothing in the house in its proper place. Off we
went to continue our story down at the well I have already men-
tioned. As it was hidden behind some chestnut trees and a heap of
stones and brambles, we chose this spot some years later for our
more intimate talks, our fervent prayers, and to tell you everything,
Maria dos Anjos, Lucia’s eldest sister, died in 1986.
Visitors can still see this Crucifix at Lucia’s old home.

our tears as well – and sometimes very bitter tears they were. We
mingled our tears with the waters of the same well from which we
drank. Does not this make the well itself an image of Mary, in whose
Heart we dried our tears and drank of the purest consolation?
But, let us come back to our story. When the little one heard
me telling of the sufferings of Our Lord, she was moved to tears.
From then on, she often asked me to tell it to her all over again. She
would weep and grieve, saying:
“Our poor dear Lord! I’ll never sin again! I don’t want Our Lord
to suffer any more!”

4. Her Delicate Sensibility

Jacinta also loved going out at nightfall to the threshing floor

situated close to the house, there she watched the beautiful sun-
sets, and contemplated the starry skies. She was enraptured with
the lovely moonlit nights. We vied with each other to see who could
count the most stars. We called the stars Angels’ lamps, the moon
Our Lady’s lamp and the sun Our Lord’s. This led Jacinta to remark
“You know, I like Our Lady’s lamp better; it doesn’t burn us up
or blind us, the way Our Lord’s does.”
In fact, the sun can be very strong there on summer days, and
Jacinta, a delicate child, suffered greatly from the heat.

5. She looks and learns

As my sister belonged to the Sodality of the Sacred Heart of

Jesus, every time a children’s solemn Communion came round,
she took me along to renew my own. On one occasion my aunt
took her little daughter to see the ceremony, and Jacinta was fasci-
nated by the ‘angels’ strewing flowers. From that day on, she some-
times left us when we were playing, and went off to gather an apron
full of flowers. Then she came back and strewed them over me,
one by one.
“Jacinta, why on earth are you doing that?”
“ I’m doing what the little angels do: I’m strewing you with

Every year, on a big feast, probably Corpus Christi, my sister
used to prepare the dresses for the children chosen to represent
the angels in the procession. They walked beside the canopy, strew-
ing flowers. I was always among the ones chosen, and one day
after my sister had tried on my dress, I told Jacinta all about the
coming feast, and how I was going to strew flowers before Jesus.
The little one begged me to ask my sister to let her go as well. The
two of us went along to make our request. My sister said she could
go, and tried a dress on Jacinta. At the rehearsals, she explained
how we were to strew the flowers before the Child Jesus.
“Will we see Him?” asked Jacinta.
“Yes,” replied my sister, “the parish priest will be carrying Him.”
Jacinta jumped for joy, and kept on asking how much longer
we had to wait for the feast. The longed-for day arrived at last, and
Jacinta was beside herself with excitement. The two of us took our
places near the altar. Later, in the procession, we walked beside
the canopy, each of us with a basket of flowers. Wherever my sister
had told us to strew the flowers, I strewed mine before Jesus, but in
spite of all the signs I made to Jacinta, I couldn’t get her to strew a
single one. She kept her eyes fixed on the priest, and that was all.
When the ceremony was over, my sister took us outside the church
and asked:
“Jacinta, why didn’t you strew your flowers before Jesus?”
“Because I didn’t see Him.”
Jacinta then asked me:
“But did you see the Child Jesus?”
“Of course not. Don’t you know that the Child Jesus in the
Host can’t be seen? He’s hidden! He’s the one we receive in Com-
“And you, when you go to Communion, do you talk to Him?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then, why don’t you see Him?”
“Because He’s hidden.”
“I’m going to ask my mother to let me go to Communion too.”
“The parish priest won’t let you go until you’re ten years old.” 8
“But you’re not ten yet, and you go to Communion!”
“Because I knew the whole catechism, and you don’t.”

Jacinta was born on the 11th of March, 1910.

After this, my two companions asked me to teach them the
catechism. So I became their catechist, and they learned with ex-
ceptional enthusiasm. But though I could always answer any ques-
tions put to me, when it came to teaching, I could only remember a
few things here and there. This led Jacinta to say to me one day:
“Teach us some more things; we know all those.”
I had to admit that I could remember things only when people
questioned me on them, and I added:
“Ask your mother to let you go to the church to learn your
The two children, who so ardently desired to receive the ‘Hid-
den Jesus’ as they called Him, went to ask their mother, and my
aunt agreed. But she rarely let them go there, for she said:
“The church is a good way from here, and you are very small.
In any case, the priest won’t give you Holy Communion before you’re
ten years old.”
Jacinta never stopped asking me questions about the Hidden
Jesus, and I remember how, one day, she asked me:
“How is it that so many people receive the little Hidden Jesus
at the same time? Is there one small piece for each person?”
“Not at all! Don’t you see that there are many Hosts, and that
there is a Child Jesus in every one of them!”
What a lot of nonsense I must have told her!

6. Jacinta, the Little Shepherdess

I was old enough now to be sent out to mind our sheep, just as
my mother had sent her other children at my age. My sister Caro-
lina 9 was then thirteen, and it was time for her to go out to work. My
mother, therefore, put me in charge of our flock. I passed on the
news to my two companions, and told them that I would not be
playing with them any more; but they could not bring themselves to
accept such a separation. They went at once to ask their mother to
let them come with me, but she refused. We had no alternative but
to accept the separation. Nearly every day after that, they came to
meet me on my way home at dusk. Then we made for the threshing
floor, and ran about for a while, waiting for Our Lady and the An-

CaroIina, died in 1994

gels to light their lamps – or put them, as we used to say, at the
window to give us light. On moonless nights, we used to say that
there was no oil for Our Lady’s lamp!
Jacinta and Francisco found it very hard to get used to the
absence of their former companion. For this reason, they pleaded
with their mother over and over again to let them, also, Iook after
their sheep. Finally my aunt, hoping perhaps to be rid of such per-
sistent requests, even though she knew the children were too small,
handed over to them the care of their own flock. Radiant with joy,
they ran to give me the news and talk over how we could put our
flocks together every day. Each one was to open the pen, when-
ever their mother decided, and whoever reached the Barreiro first
was to await the arrival of the other flock. Barreiro was the name of
a pond at the bottom of the hill. As soon as we met at the pond, we
decided where we would pasture the flock that day. Then off we’d
go, as happy and content as if we were going to a festival.
And now, Your Excellency, we see Jacinta in her new life as a
shepherdess. We won over the sheep by sharing our lunch with
them. This meant that when we reached the pasture, we could play
at our ease, quite sure that they would not stray far away from us.
Jacinta loved to hear her voice echoing down in the valleys. For
this reason, one of our favourite amusements was to climb to the
top of the hills, sit down on the biggest rock we could find, and call
out different names at the top of our voices. The name that echoed
back most clearly was ‘Maria’. Sometimes Jacinta used to say the
whole Hail Mary this way, only calling out the following word when
the preceding one had stopped re-echoing.
We loved to sing, too. Interspersed among the popular songs
– of which, alas! we knew quite a number – were Jacinta’s favour-
ite hymns: ‘Salve Nobre Padroeira’ (Hail Noble Patroness), ‘Virgem
Pura’, (Virgin Pure), ‘Anjos, Cantai Comigo’, (Angels, sing with me).
We were very fond of dancing, and any instrument we heard being
played by the other shepherds was enough to set us off. Jacinta,
tiny as she was, had a special aptitude for dancing.
We had been told to say the Rosary after our lunch, but as the
whole day seemed too short for our play, we worked out a fine way
of getting through it quickly. We simply passed the beads through
our fingers, saying nothing but “Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary...”
At the end of each mystery, we paused awhile, then simply said

“Our Father” and so, in the twinkling of an eye, as they say, we had
our Rosary finished!
Jacinta also loved to hold the little white lambs tightly in her
arms, sitting with them on her lap, fondling them, kissing them, and
carrying them home at night on her shoulders, so that they wouldn’t
get tired. One day on her way back, she walked along in the middle
of the flock.
“Jacinta, what are you doing there,” I asked her, “in the middle
of the sheep?”
“I want to do the same as Our Lord in that holy picture they
gave me. He’s just like this, right in the middle of them all, and He’s
holding one of them in His arms.”

7. The First Apparition

And now, Your Excellency, you know more or less how Jacinta
spent the first seven years of her life, right up to that 13th day of
May 1917, which dawned bright and fair like so many others before
it. That day, by chance – if in the designs of Providence there can
be such a thing as chance – we chose to pasture our flock on
some land belonging to my parents, called Cova da Iria. We chose
the pasture as we usually did, at the Barreiro I have already men-
tioned. This meant we had to cross a barren stretch of moorland to
get there, which made the journey doubly long. We had to go slowly
to give the sheep a chance to graze along the way, so it was almost
noon when we arrived. I will not delay here to tell you what hap-
pened that day, because Your Excellency knows it well already,
and therefore it would be a waste of time. Except for the sake of
obedience, my writing this seems a waste of time to me as well.
For I cannot see what good Your Excellency can draw from it all,
unless it could be that you will become better acquainted with
Jacinta’s innocence of life.
Before beginning to tell Your Excellency what I remember of
this new period of Jacinta’s life, I must first admit that there were
certain aspects of Our Lady’s apparitions which we had agreed
not to make known to anybody. Now however, I may have to speak
about them in order to explain whence Jacinta imbibed such great
love for Jesus, for suffering and for sinners, for whose salvation
she sacrificed herself so generously. Your Excellency is not una-

ware that she was the one who, unable to contain herself for joy,
broke our agreement to keep the whole matter to ourselves. That
very afternoon, while we remained thoughtful and rapt in wonder,
Jacinta kept breaking into enthusiastic exclamations:
“Oh, what a beautiful Lady!”
“ I can see what’s going to happen,” I said, “you’ll end up say-
ing that to somebody else.”
“No, I won’t,” she answered “don’t worry.”
Next day, Francisco came running to tell me how she had told
them everything at home the night before. Jacinta listened to the
accusation without a word.
“You see, that’s just what I thought would happen.” I said to her.
“There was something within me that wouldn’t let me keep
quiet,” she said, with tears in her eyes.
“Well, don’t cry now, and don’t tell anything else to anybody
about what the Lady said to us.”
“But I’ve already told them.”
“And what did you say?”
“ I said that the Lady promised to take us to Heaven.”
“To think you told them that!”
“Forgive me. I won’t tell anybody anything ever again!”

8. Reflecting on Hell

That day, when we reached the pasture, Jacinta sat thought-

fully on a rock.
“Jacinta, come and play.”
“I don’t want to play today.”
“Why not?”
“Because I’m thinking. That Lady told us to say the Rosary
and to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. So from now
on, when we say the Rosary we must say the whole Hail Mary and
the whole Our Father! And the sacrifices, how are we going to
make them?”
Right away, Francisco thought of a good sacrifice:
“Let’s give our lunch to the sheep, and make the sacrifice of
doing without it.”
In a couple of minutes, the contents of our lunchbag had been
divided among the sheep. So that day, we fasted as strictly as the

most austere Carthusian! Jacinta remained sitting on her rock, look-
ing very thoughtful, and asked:
“That Lady also said that many souls go to hell! What is hell,
“lt’s like a big deep pit of wild beasts, with an enormous fire in
it – that’s how my mother used to explain it to me – and that’s
where people go who commit sins and don’t confess them. They
stay there and burn for ever!”
“And they never get out of there again?“
“Not even after many, many years?”
“No! Hell never ends!”
“And Heaven never ends either?”
“Whoever goes to Heaven, never leaves it again!”
“And whoever goes to Hell, never leaves it either?”
“They’re eternal, don’t you see! They never end.”
That was how, for the first time, we made a meditation on Hell
and eternity. What made the biggest impression on Jacinta was
the idea of eternity. Even in the middle of a game, she would stop
and ask:
“But listen! Doesn’t hell end after many, many years, then?”
Or again:
“Those people burning in hell, don’t they ever die? And don’t
they turn into ashes? And if people pray very much for sinners,
won’t Our Lord get them out of there? And if they make sacrifices
as well? Poor sinners! We have to pray and make many sacrifices
for them!”
Then she went on:
“How good that Lady is! She has already promised to take us
to Heaven!”

9. Conversion of Sinners

Jacinta took this matter of making sacrifices for the conver-

sion of sinners so much to heart, that she never let a single oppor-
tunity escape her. There were two families in Moita 10 whose chil-

At that time it was a small village to the north of the Cova da Iria about 1 km
from the place of the Apparitions

dren used to go round begging from door to door. We met them
one day, as we were going along with our sheep. As soon as she
saw them, Jacinta said to us:
“Let’s give our lunch to those poor children, for the conversion
of sinners.”
And she ran to take it to them. That afternoon, she told me she
was hungry. There were holm-oaks and oak trees nearby. The
acorns were still quite green. However, I told her we could eat them.
Francisco climbed up a holm-oak to fill his pockets, but Jacinta
remembered that we could eat the ones on the oak trees instead,
and thus make a sacrifice by eating the bitter kind. So it was there,
that afternoon, that we enjoyed this delicious repast! Jacinta made
this one of her usual sacrifices, and often picked the acorns off the
oaks or the olives off the trees.
One day I said to her:
“Jacinta, don’t eat that; it’s too bitter!”
“But it’s because it’s bitter that I’m eating it, for the conversion
of sinners.”
These were not the only times we fasted. We had agreed that
whenever we met any poor children like these, we would give them
our lunch. They were only too happy to receive such an alms, and
they took good care to meet us; they used to wait for us along the
road. We no sooner saw them than Jacinta ran to give them all the
food we had for that day, as happy as if she had no need of it
herself. On days like that, our only nourishment consisted of pine
nuts, and little berries about the size of an olive which grow on the
roots of yellow bell-flowers, as well as blackberries, mushrooms,
and some other things we found on the roots of pine trees – I can’t
remember now what these were called. If there was fruit availabie
on the land belonging to our parents, we used to eat that.
Jacinta’s thirst for making sacrifices seemed insatiable. One
day a neighbour offered my mother a good pasture for our sheep.
Though it was quite far away and we were at the height of summer,
my mother accepted the offer made so generously, and sent me
there. She told me that we should take our siesta in the shade of
the trees, as there was a pond nearby where the flock could go
and drink. On the way, we met our dear poor children, and Jacinta
ran to give them our usual alms. It was a lovely day, but the sun
was blazing, and in that arid, stony wasteland, it seemed as though

it would burn everything up. We were parched with thirst, and there
wasn’t a single drop of water for us to drink! At first, we offered the
sacrifice generously for the conversion of sinners, but after midday,
we could hold out no longer.
As there was a house quite near, I suggested to my companions
that I should go and ask for a little water. They agreed to this, so I
went and knocked on the door. A little old woman gave me not only
a pitcher of water, but also some bread, which I accepted gratefully.
I ran to share it with my little companions, and then offered the
pitcher to Francisco, and told him to take a drink.
“ I don’t want to.” he replied.
“I want to suffer for the conversion of sinners.”
“You have a drink, Jacinta!”
“But I want to offer this sacrifice for sinners too.”
Then I poured the water into a hollow in the rock, so that the
sheep could drink it, and went to return the pitcher to its owner.
The heat was getting more and more intense. The shrill singing of
the crickets and grasshoppers coupled with the croaking of the
frogs in the neighbouring pond made an uproar that was almost
unbearable. Jacinta, frail as she was, and weakened still more by
the lack of food and drink, said to me with that simplicity which
was natural to her:
“Tell the crickets and the frogs to keep quiet! I have such a
terrible headache.”
Then Francisco asked her:
“Don’t you want to suffer this for sinners?”
The poor child, clasping her head between her two little hands,
“Yes, I do. Let them sing!”

10. Family Opposition

In the meantime, news of what had happened was spreading.

My mother was getting worried, and wanted at all costs to make
me deny what I had said. One day, before I set out with the flock,
she was determined to make me confess that I was telling lies, and
to this end she spared neither caresses, nor threats, nor even the

broomstick. To all this she received nothing but a mute silence, or
the confirmation of all that I had already said. She told me to go
and let out the sheep, and during the day to consider well that she
had never tolerated a single lie among her children, and much less
would she allow a lie of this kind. She warned me that she would
force me, that very evening, to go to those people whom I had
deceived, confess that I had lied and ask their pardon.
I went off with my sheep, and that day my little companions
were already waiting for me. When they saw me crying, they ran up
and asked me what was the matter. I told them all that had hap-
pened, and added:
“Tell me now, what am I to do? My mother is determined at all
costs to make me say that I was Iying. But how can I?”
Then Francisco said to Jacinta:
“You see! It’s all your fault. Why did you have to tell them?”
The poor child, in tears, knelt down, joined her hands, and
asked our forgiveness:
“I did wrong,” she said through her tears, “but I will never tell
anything to anybody again.”
Your Excellency will probably be wondering who taught Ja-
cinta to make such an act of humility? I don’t know. Perhaps she
had seen her brothers and sisters asking their parents’ forgiveness
before going to Communion; or else, as I think myself, Jacinta was
the one who received from Our Lady a greater abundance of grace,
and a better knowledge of God and of virtue.
When the parish priest 11 sent for us some time later, to question
us, Jacinta put her head down, and only with difficulty did he suc-
ceed in getting a word or two out of her. Once outside, I asked her:
“Why didn’t you answer the priest?”
“Because I promised you never to tell anything to anybody
One day she asked:
“Why can’t we say that the Lady told us to make sacrifices for
“So they won’t be asking what kind of sacrifices we are making.”

The first interrogation by the parish priest took place at the end of May, 1917.

My mother became more and more upset at the way things
were progressing. This led her to make yet another attempt to force
me to confess that I had lied. One morning early, she called me
and told me she was taking me to see the parish priest, saying:
“When you get there, go down on your knees, tell him that
you’ve lied, and ask his pardon.”
As we were going past my aunt’s house, my mother went in-
side for a few minutes. This gave me a chance to tell Jacinta what
was happening. Seeing me so upset, she shed some tears and
“I’m going to get up and call Francisco. We’ll go and pray for
you at the well. When you get back, come and find us there.”
On my return, I ran to the well, and there were the two of them
on their knees, praying. As soon as they saw me, Jacinta ran to
hug me, and then she said:
“You see! We must never be afraid of anything! The Lady will
help us always. She’s such a good friend of ours!”
Ever since the day Our Lady taught us to offer our sacrifices to
Jesus, any time we had something to suffer, or agreed to make a
sacrifice, Jacinta asked:
“Did you already tell Jesus that it’s for love of Him?”
If I said I hadn’t, she answered:
“Then I’ll tell Him,” and joining her hands, she raised her eyes
to heaven and said:
“Oh Jesus, it is for love of You, and for the conversion of sin-

11. Love for the Holy Father

Two priests, who had come to question us, recommended that

we pray for the Holy Father. Jacinta asked who the Holy Father
was. The good priests explained who he was and how much he
needed prayers. This gave Jacinta such love for the Holy Father
that, every time she offered her sacrifices to Jesus, she added:
“and for the Holy Father.” At the end of the Rosary, she always said
three Hail Marys for the Holy Father, and sometimes she would

“How I’d love to see the Holy Father! So many people come
here, but the Holy Father never does!” 12
In her childish simplicity, she supposed that the Holy Father
could make this journey just like anybody else!
One day, my father and my uncle 13 were summoned to ap-
pear next morning with the three of us before the Administrator 14.
“I’m not going to take my children,’’ announced my uncle, “nor
present them before any tribunal. Why, they’re not old enough to be
responsible for their actions, and besides all that, they could never
stand the long journey on foot to Vila Nova de Ourém. I’ll go myself
and see what they want.”
My father thought differently:
“As for my girl, I’m taking her! Let her answer for herself; I don’t
understand a thing about this.”
They all took advantage of this occasion to frighten us in every
way they could. Next day, as we were passing by my uncle’s house,
my father had to wait a few minutes for my uncle. I ran to say good-
bye to Jacinta, who was still in bed. Doubtful as to whether we
would ever see one another again, I threw my arms around her.
Bursting into tears, the poor child sobbed:
“If they kill you, tell them that Francisco and I are just the same
as you, and that we want to die too. I’m going right now to the well
with Francisco, and we’ll pray hard for you.”
When I got back at night fall, I ran to the well, and there were
the pair of them on their knees, leaning over the side of the well,
their heads buried in their hands, weeping bitterly. As soon as they
saw me, they cried out in astonishment:
“You’ve come then? Why, your sister came here to draw water
and told us that they’d killed you! We’ve been praying and crying
so much for you!”

Paul Vl on 13 May 1967, and John Paul II on 13 May 1982, 1991, 2000,
were in Fatima.
Her father’s name was António dos Santos, died 1919. Her uncle was Manuel
Pedro Marto, died 1957, father of Francisco and Jacinta.
The Administrator was Artur de Oliveira Santos, died 1955.

12. In Prison at Ourém

When, some time later, we were put in prison, what made

Jacinta suffer most, was to feel that their parents had abandoned
them. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she would say:
“Neither your parents nor mine have come to see us. They
don’t bother about us any more!”
“Don’t cry,” said Francisco, “we can offer this to Jesus for sin-
Then, raising his eyes and hands to heaven, he made the of-
“O my Jesus, this is for love of You, and for the conversion of
Jacinta added:
“And also for the Holy Father, and in reparation for the sins
committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
After being separated for awhile, we were reunited in one of
the other rooms of the prison. When they told us they were coming
soon to take us away to be fried alive, Jacinta went aside and stood
by a window overlooking the cattle market. I thought at first that
she was trying to distract her thoughts with the view, but I soon
realized that she was crying. I went over and drew her close to me,
asking her why she was crying:
“Because we are going to die,” she replied, “without ever see-
ing our parents again, not even our mothers!”
With tears running down her cheeks, she added:
“I would like at least to see my mother.”
“Don’t you want, then, to offer this sacrifice for the conversion
of sinners?”
“I do want to, I do!”
With her face bathed in tears, she joined her hands, raised her
eyes to heaven and made her offering:
“O my Jesus! This is for love of You, for the conversion of sin-
ners, for the Holy Father, and in reparation for the sins committed
against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!”
The prisoners who were present at this scene, sought to con-
sole us:
“But all you have to do,” they said, “is to tell the Administrator the
secret! What does it matter whether the Lady wants you to or not!”
“Never!” was Jacinta’s vigorous reply, “I’d rather die.”

13. The Rosary in Jail

Next, we decided to say our Rosary. Jacinta took off a medal

that she was wearing round her neck, and asked a prisoner to
hang it up for her on a nail in the wall. Kneeling before this medal,
we began to pray. The prisoners prayed with us, that is if they knew
how to pray, but at least they were down on their knees. Once the
Rosary was over, Jacinta went over to the window, and started
crying again.
“Jacinta,” I asked, “don’t you want to offer this sacrifice to Our
“Yes, I do, but I keep thinking about my mother, and I can’t help
As the Blessed Virgin had told us to offer our prayers and sac-
rifices also in reparation for the sins committed against the Im-
maculate Heart of Mary, we agreed that each of us would choose
one of these intentions. One would offer for sinners, another for the
Holy Father and yet another in reparation for the sins against the
Immaculate Heart of Mary. Having decided on this, I told Jacinta to
choose whichever intention she preferred.
“I’m making the offering for all the intentions, because I love
them all.”

14. And Finally... the Dance

Among the prisoners, there was one who played the concertina.
To divert our attention, he began to play and they all started sing-
ing. They asked us if we knew how to dance. We said we knew the
‘fandango’ and the ‘vira’. Jacinta’s partner was a poor thief who,
finding her so tiny, picked her up and went on dancing with her in
his arms! We only hope that Our Lady has had pity on his soul and
converted him!
Now, Your Excellency will be saying: “What fine dispositions
for martyrdom!” That is true. But we were only children and we
didn’t think beyond this. Jacinta dearly loved dancing, and had a
special aptitude for it. I remember how she was crying one day
about one of her brothers who had gone to the war and was re-
ported killed in action. To distract her, I arranged a little dance with
two of her brothers. There was the poor child dancing away as she

dried the tears that ran down her cheeks. Her fondness for dancing
was such, that the sound of some shepherd playing his instrument
was enough to set her dancing all by herself. In spite of this, when
Carnival time or St. John’s Day festivities came round, she an-
“I’m not going to dance any more.”
“And why not?”
“Because I want to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord.”


1. Prayers and Sacrifices at the Cabeço

My aunt was worn out with having continually to send some-

one to fetch her children, just to please the people who came ask-
ing to speak to them. She therefore handed over the care of the
flock to her other son John 15. This decision was very painful to
Jacinta for two reasons: firstly, because she had to speak to every-
one who came looking for her and, secondly, because she could
no longer spend the whole day with me. She had to resign herself,
however. To escape from the unwelcome visitors, she and Fran-
cisco used to go and hide in a cave hollowed out in the rock 16 on
the hillside facing our hamlet. On top of the hill was a windmill.
Situated as it is on the eastern slope, this hiding place is so well
formed that it afforded them an ideal protection from both the rain
and the burning sun, especially since it is sheltered by many oak
and olive trees. How many were the prayers and sacrifices that
Jacinta offered there to our dear Lord!
All over the slope grew innumerable varieties of flowers. Among
them were many irises, and Jacinta loved these especially. Every
evening she was waiting for me on my way home, holding an iris
she had picked for me, or some other flower if there were no irises
to be found. It was a real joy for her to pluck off the petals one by
one, and strew them over me.

John Marto, the brother of Jacinta († 28 April 2000)
The hill is called the ‘Cabeço’, and the cave on its slope is known as ‘Loca
do Cabeço’

My mother was satisfied for the time being with deciding each
day where I was to pasture the sheep, so that she knew where to
find me when I was needed. When the place was nearby, I told my
little companions, and they lost no time in coming out to join me.
Jacinta never stopped running till she caught sight of me. Then,
exhausted, she sat down and kept calling to me, until I answered
and ran to meet her.

2. Troublesome Interrogations

Finally my mother, tired of seeing my sister waste her time

coming to call me and taking my place with the sheep, decided to
sell the lot. She talked things over with my aunt, and they agreed to
send us off to school. At playtime, Jacinta loved to make a visit to
the Blessed Sacrament.
“They seem to guess,” she would say. “We are no sooner in-
side the church than a crowd of people come asking us questions!
I wanted so much to be alone for a long time with the Hidden Jesus
and talk to Him, but they never let us.”
It was true, the simple country folk never left us alone. With the
utmost simplicity, they told us all about their needs and their trou-
bles. Jacinta showed the greatest compassion, especially when it
concerned some sinner, saying: “We must pray and offer sacrifices
to Our Lord, so that he will be converted and not go to hell, poor
In this connection, it might be good to relate here an incident
which shows to what extent Jacinta sought to escape from the peo-
ple who came looking for her. We were on our way to Fatima one
day 17, and approaching the main road, when we noticed a group
of ladies and gentlemen getting out of a car. We knew without the
slightest doubt that they were looking for us. Escape was impossi-
ble, for they would see us. We continued on our way, hoping to
pass by without being recognized. On reaching us, the ladies asked
if we knew the little shepherds to whom Our Lady had appeared.
We said we did.
“Do you know where they live?”

This happened in the course of 1918-1919, one year after the Apparitions.

We gave them precise directions, and ran off to hide in the
fields among the brambles. Jacinta was so delighted with the result
of her little stratagem, that she exclaimed: “We must do this always
when they don’t know us by sight.”

3. The Saintly Father Cruz

One day, Father Cruz 18 from Lisbon came, in his tum, to ques-
tion us. When he had finished, he asked us to show him the spot
where Our Lady had appeared to us. On the way we walked on
either side of His Reverence, who was riding a donkey so small
that his feet almost touched the ground. As we went along, he taught
us a litany of ejaculations, two of which Jacinta made her own and
never stopped repeating ever afterwards: “ O my Jesus, I love You!
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!”
One day during her illness, she told me: “I so like to tell Jesus
that I love Him! Many times, when I say it to Him, I seem to have a
fire in my heart, but it doesn’t burn me.”
Another time she said: “I love Our Lord and Our Lady so much,
that I never get tired of telling them that I love them.”

4. Graces through Jacinta

There was a woman in our neighbourhood who insulted us

every time we met her. We came upon her one day, as she was
leaving a tavern, somewhat the worse for drink. Not satisfied with
mere insults, she went still further. When she had finished, Jacinta
said to me: “We have to plead with Our Lady and offer sacrifices for
the conversion of this woman. She says so many sinful things that
if she doesn’t go to confession, she’ll go to hell.”
A few days later, we were running past this woman’s door when
suddenly Jacinta stopped dead, and turning round, she asked:
“Listen! Is it tomorrow that we’re going to see the Lady?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Then let’s not play anymore. We can make this sacrifice for
the conversion of sinners.”

Fr. Francisco Cruz, S.J., 1859-1948, Servant of God, whose Cause of Be-
atification has been instituted.

Without realizing that some one might be watching her, she
raised her hands and eyes to heaven, and made her offering. The
woman, meanwhile, was peeping through a shutter in the house.
She told my mother, afterwards, that what Jacinta did, made such
an impression on her, that she needed no other proof to make her
believe in the reality of the apparitions; henceforth, she would not
only not insult us any more, but would constantly ask us to pray to
Our Lady, that her sins might be forgiven.
Again, a poor woman afflicted with a terrible disease met us
one day. Weeping, she knelt before Jacinta and begged her to ask
Our Lady to cure her. Jacinta was distressed to see a woman kneel-
ing before her, and caught hold of her with trembling hands to lift
her up. But seeing this was beyond her strength, she, too, knelt
down and said three Hail Marys with the woman. She then asked
her to get up, and assured her that Our Lady would cure her. After
that, she continued to pray daily for that woman, until she returned
some time later to thank Our Lady for her cure.
On another occasion, there was a soldier who wept like a child.
He had been ordered to leave for the front, although his wife was
sick in bed and he had three small children. He pleaded that either
his wife would be cured or that the order would be revoked. Jacinta
invited him to say the Rosary with her, and then said to him:
“Don’t cry. Our Lady is so good! She will certainly grant you
the grace you are asking.”
From then on, she never forgot her soldier. At the end of the
Rosary, she always said one Hail Mary for him. Some months later,
he appeared with his wife and his three small children, to thank
Our Lady for the two graces he had received. Having gone down
with fever on the eve of his departure, he had been released from
military service, and as for his wife, he said she had been miracu-
lously cured by Our Lady.

5. More and More Sacrifices

One day, we were told that a priest was coming to see us who
was very holy and who could tell what was going on in people’s
inmost hearts. This meant that he would find out whether we were
telling the truth or not. Full of joy, Jacinta exclaimed:

“When is this Father coming? If he can really tell, then he’ll
know we’re telling the truth.”
We were playing one day at the well I have already mentioned.
Close to it, there was a grape vine belonging to Jacinta’s mother.
She cut a few clusters and brought them to us to eat. But Jacinta
never forgot her sinners.
“We won’t eat them,” she said, “we’ll offer this sacrifice for sin-
Then she ran out with the grapes and gave them to the other
children playing on the road. She returned radiant with joy, for she
had found our poor children, and given them the grapes.
Another time, my aunt called us to come and eat some figs
which she had brought home, and indeed they would have given
anybody an appetite. Jacinta sat down happily next to the basket,
with the rest of us, and picked up the first fig. She was just about to
eat it, when she suddenly remembered, and said:
“It’s true! Today we haven’t yet made a single sacrifice for sin-
ners! We’ll have to make this one.”
She put the fig back in the basket, and made the offering; and
we, too, left our figs in the basket for the conversion of sinners.
Jacinta made such sacrifices over and over again, but I won’t stop
to tell any more, or I shall never end.


1. Jacinta’s Illness

This was how Jacinta spent her days, until Our Lord sent the
influenza that confined her to bed, and her brother Francisco as
well 19. The evening before she fell sick, she said:
“I’ve a terrible headache and I’m so thirsty! But I won’t take a
drink, because I want to suffer for sinners.”
Apart from school or the small tasks I was given to do, I spent
every free moment with my little companions. One day, when I called
in on my way to school, Jacinta said to me:

Jacinta fell ill in October, 1918, and Francisco soon after.

“Listen! Tell the Hidden Jesus that I like Him very much, that I
really love Him very much indeed.” At other times, she said:
“Tell Jesus that I send Him my love, and long to see Him.”
Whenever I visited her room first, she used to say: “Now go
and see Francisco. I’ll make the sacrifice of staying here alone.”
On another occasion, her mother brought her a cup of milk
and told her to take it. “I don’t want it, mother,” she answered, push-
ing the cup away with her little hand. My aunt insisted a little, and
then left the room, saying: “I don’t know how to make her take
anything; she has no appetite.” As soon as we were alone, I asked
her:“How can you disobey your mother like that, and not offer this
sacrifice to Our Lord?” When she heard this, she shed a few tears
which I had the happiness of drying, and said: “I forgot this time.”
She called her mother, asked her forgiveness, and said she’d take
whatever she wanted. Her mother brought back the cup of milk,
and Jacinta drank it down without the slightest sign of repugnance.
Later, she told me:
“If you only knew how hard it was to drink that!”
Another time, she said to me: “It’s becoming harder and harder
for me to take milk and broth, but I don’t say anything. I drink it all
for love of Our Lord and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our dear
heavenly Mother.”
Again, I asked her: “Are you better?”
“You know I’m not getting better,” she replied, and added: “I’ve
such pains in my chest! But I don’t say anything. I’m suffering for
the conversion of sinners.”
One day when I arrived, she asked: “Did you make many sac-
rifices today? I’ve made a lot. My mother went out, and I wanted to
go and visit Francisco many times, and I didn't go.”

2. Visit from the Blessed Virgin

Jacinta did improve somewhat, however. She was even able

to get up, and could thus spend her days sitting on Francisco’s
bed. On one occasion, she sent for me to come and see her at
once. I ran right over.
“Our Lady came to see us,” Jacinta said. “She told us she
would come to take Francisco to heaven very soon, and she asked
me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I said I did.

She told me I would be going to a hospital where I would suffer
a great deal; and that I am to suffer for the conversion of sinners, in
reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of
Mary, and for love of Jesus. I asked if you would go with me. She
said you wouldn’t, and that is what I find hardest. She said my
mother would take me, and then I would have to stay there all alone!”
After this, she was thoughtful for awhile, and then added: “If
only you could be with me! The hardest part is to go without you.
Maybe, the hospital is a big dark house, where you can’t see, and
I’ll be there suffering all alone! But never mind! I’ll suffer for love of
Our Lord, to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for
the conversion of sinners and for the Holy Father.”
When the moment arrived for her brother to go to Heaven, she
confided to him these last messages: 20 “Give all my love to Our
Lord and Our Lady, and tell them that I’ll suffer as much as they
want, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation to the Im-
maculate Heart of Mary.”
Jacinta suffered keenly when her brother died. She remained
a long time buried in thought, and if anyone asked her what she
was thinking about, she answered: “About Francisco. I’d give any-
thing to see him again!” Then her eyes brimmed over with tears.
One day, I said to her: “It won’t be long now till you go to heaven.
But what about me!”
“You poor thing! Don’t cry! I’ll pray lots and lots for you when
I’m there. As for you, that’s the way Our Lady wants it. If she wanted
that for me, I’d gladly stay and suffer more for sinners.”

3. In the Hospital at Ourém

The day came for Jacinta to go to hospital 21 There indeed she

was to suffer a great deal. When her mother went to see her, she
asked if she wanted anything. She told her that she wanted to see
me. This was no easy matter for my aunt, but she took me with her
at the first opportunity. As soon as Jacinta saw me, she joyfully
threw her arms around me, and asked her mother to leave me with

Francisco died on April 4th, 1919.
This was St. Augustine’s Hospital in Vila Nova de Ourém. She was taken
there on July 1st and left it on August 31st, 1919.

her while she went to do her shopping. Then I asked her if she was
suffering a lot.
“Yes, I am. But I offer everything for sinners, and in reparation
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Then, filled with enthusiasm,
she spoke of Our Lord and Our Lady: “Oh, how much I love to
suffer for love of Them, just to give Them pleasure! They greatly
love those who suffer for the conversion of sinners.”
The time allotted for the visit passed rapidly, and my aunt ar-
rived to take me home. She asked Jacinta if she wanted anything.
The child begged her mother to bring me with her next time she
came to see her. So my good aunt, who loved to make her little
daughter happy, took me with her a second time. I found Jacinta as
joyful as ever, glad to suffer for the love of our Good God and of the
Immaculate Heart of Mary, for sinners and the Holy Father. That
was her ideal, and she could speak of nothing else.

4. Return to Aljustrel

She returned home to her parents for yet a while. She had a
large open wound in her chest which had to be treated every day,
but she bore this without complaint and without the least sign of
irritation. What distressed her most were the frequent visits and
questionings on the part of many people who wanted to see her,
and whom she could no longer avoid by running off to hide.
“ I am offering this sacrifice too, for the conversion of sinners,”
she said resignedly. “I would give anything to be able to go up to
the Cabeço and say a Rosary there in our favourite place! But I am
not able for it any more. When you go to the Cova da Iria pray for
me. Just think, I shall never go there again!” The tears streamed
down her cheeks.
One day my aunt made this request: “Ask Jacinta what she is
thinking, when she covers her face with her hands and remains
motionless for such a long while. I’ve already asked her, but she
just smiles and does not answer.” I put the question to Jacinta.
“ I think of Our Lord,” she replied, “of Our Lady, of sinners, and
of... (and she mentioned certain parts of the Secret). I love to think.”
My aunt asked me how she answered. I just smiled. This led
my aunt to tell my mother what had happened. “The life of these

children is an enigma to me,” she exclaimed, “ I can’t understand
it!” And my mother added: “Yes, and when they are alone, they talk
nineteen to the dozen. Yet, however hard you listen, you can never
catch a single word! I just can’t understand all this mystery.”

5. Renewed Visits from the Blessed Virgin

Once again, the Blessed Virgin deigned to visit Jacinta, to tell

her of new crosses and sacrifices awaiting her. She gave me the
news saying:
“She told me that I am going to Lisbon to another hospital; that
I will not see you again, nor my parents either, and after suffering a
great deal, I shall die alone. But she said I must not be afraid, since
she herself is coming to take me to heaven.”
She hugged me and wept: “ l will never see you again! You
won’t be coming to visit me there. Oh please, pray hard for me,
because I am going to die alone!”
Jacinta suffered terribly right up until the day of her departure
for Lisbon. She kept clinging to me and sobbing: “ I’ll never see you
again! Nor my mother, nor my brothers, nor my father! I’ll never see
anybody ever again! And then, I’ll die all alone!”
“Don’t think about it,” I advised her one day.
“Let me think about it,” she replied, “for the more I think the
more I suffer, and I want to suffer for love of Our Lord and for sin-
ners. Anyway, I don’t mind! Our Lady will come to me there and
take me to heaven.”
At times, she kissed and embraced a crucifix, exclaiming: “O
my Jesus! I love You, and I want to suffer very much for love of You.”
How often did she say: “O Jesus! Now You can convert many sin-
ners, because this is really a big sacrifice!”
From time to time, she asked me: “Am I going to die without
receiving the Hidden Jesus? If only Our Lady would bring Him to
me, when she comes to fetch me!”
One day I asked her: “What are you going to do in Heaven?”
“I’m going to love Jesus very much, and the Immaculate Heart
of Mary, too. I’m going to pray a lot for you, for sinners, for the Holy
Father, for my parents and my brothers and sisters, and for all the
people who have asked me to pray for them...”

When her mother looked sad at seeing the child so ill, Jacinta
used to say:
“Don’t worry, mother. I’m going to Heaven, and there I’ll be
praying so much for you.”
Or again: “Don’t cry. I’m alright.” If they asked her if she needed
anything, she answered: “No, I don’t, thank you.” Then when they
had left the room, she said: “I’m so thirsty, but I don’t want to take a
drink. I’m offering it to Jesus for sinners.”
One day, when my aunt had been asking me many questions,
Jacinta called me to her and said: “I don’t want you to tell anybody
that I’m suffering, not even my mother; I do not want to upset her.”
On one occasion, I found her clasping a picture of Our Lady to
her heart, and saying, “O my dearest heavenly Mother, do I have to
die all alone?” The poor child seemed so frightened at the thought
of dying alone! I tried to comfort her, saying: “What does it matter if
you die alone, so long as Our Lady is coming to fetch you?”
“It’s true, it doesn’t matter, really. I don’t know why it is, but I
sometimes forget Our Lady is coming to take me. I only remember
that I’ll die without having you near me.”

6. Leaving for Lisbon

The day came 22 at last when she was to leave for Lisbon. It
was a heartrending farewell. For a long time, she clung to me with
her arms around my neck, and sobbed: “We shall never see each
other again! Pray a lot for me, until I go to Heaven. Then I will pray
a lot for you. Never tell the Secret to anyone, even if they kill you.
Love Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary very much, and
make many sacrifices for sinners.”
From Lisbon, she sent me word that Our Lady had come to
see her there; she had told her the day and hour of her death.
Finally Jacinta reminded me to be very good.

On January 21st, 1920, she was taken to Lisbon, where she was admitted
to the Orphanage run by Madre Godinho, Rua da Estrela,17. On February
2nd, she was taken to the Dona Estefânia Hospital, where she died on
February 20th, 1920, at 10.30 p.m.


And now, I have finished telling Your Excellency what I re-

member about Jacinta’s life. I ask our Good God to deign to accept
this act of obedience, that it may kindle in souls a fire of love for the
Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
I would like to ask just one favour. If Your Excellency should
publish anything 23 of what I have just written, would you do it in
such a way that no mention whatsoever is made of my poor and
miserable self. I must confess, moreover, that if it were to come to
my knowledge that Your Excellency had burnt this account, without
even reading it, I would be very glad indeed, since I wrote it solely
out of obedience to the will of our Good God, as made known to
me through the express will of Your Excellency.

Lucia’s reminiscences in this first Memoir were used by Dr. José Galamba
de Oliveira for his book ‘Jacinta, the Flower of Fatima’ (May 1938).


The first manuscript of Lucia’s Memoirs made it clear to her Super-

iors that she was still jealously guarding quite a number of things which
she would probably reveal only under obedience. In April, 1937, Fr.
Fonseca wrote to the Bishop: “...The First Memoir makes one think that
there are further interesting details in the history of the Apparitions...
which are not yet known. Would it not be possible, or would there be any
difficulty in persuading Sister Lucia to write down in detail, conscien-
tiously and with the simplicity of the Gospel, and in honour of the Blessed
Virgin, every single thing she still remembers? This is an idea, and should
you find it helpful, only Your Excellency can put it into effect...”
In agreement with the Mother Provincial of the Dorothean Sisters,
Madre Maria do Carmo Corte Real, Bishop José gave Lucia the neces-
sary order. In reply, she wrote to the Bishop on November 7th, 1937: “I
have already begun today, for this is the Will of God.” Thus, this manu-
script was started on November 7th, and finished, as we know, on the
21st... That means it took her only a fortnight to compose such a long
document. Besides, she was frequently interrupted by housework, which
did not allow her any free time. As already mentioned, the document
consisted of 38 pages, filled front and back with close handwriting, al-
most without corrections. Once again, we see how this reveals Sister
Lucia’s clear mind, her composure and her mental equilibrium.
The subjects dealt with in this Memoir are even more surprising:
angelic apparitions, extraordinary blessings on the occasion of her First
Communion, the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Apparition of June,
1917, and many other details totally unknown until then.
What Sister Lucia intended when she wrote this account is explained
by her as revealing “the story ot Fatima just as it is.” Therefore, it was not
a question of a few biographical data as in the previous Memoir, where
the subject of the Apparitions was kept in the background. In the present
Memoir, the Apparitions themselves are given more prominence.
The spirit in which Lucia wrote can be gathered from the words: “No
longer will I savour the joy of sharing with You alone the secrets of Your
love, but henceforth, others too, will sing the greatness of Your mercy...
Behold the handmaid of the Lord! May He continue to make use of her,
as He thinks best.”

J. M. J.
O Will of God, You are my Paradise. 1


Your Excellency

Here I am, pen in hand, ready to do the will of my God. Since

I have no other aim but this, I begin with the maxim which my holy
Foundress has handed down to me, and which, after her example,
I shall repeat many times in the course of this account: “O Will of
God, you are my paradise!”
Allow me, Your Excellency, to sound the depths contained in
this maxim. Whenever repugnance or love for my secret makes me
want to keep some things hidden, then this maxim will be my norm
and my guide.
I had a mind to ask what use there could possibly be in my
writing an account like this, since even my hand-writing is scarcely
presentable 2. But I am asking nothing. I know that the perfection
of obedience asks for no reasons. Your Excellency’s words are
enough for me, since they assure me that this is for the glory of
our Blessed Mother in Heaven. In the certainty that it is so, I im-
plore the blessing and protection of her Immaculate Heart and,
humbly prostrate at her feet, I use her own most holy words to
speak to my God:
“ I, the least of your handmaids, O my God, now come in full
submission to your most holy Will, to lift the veil from my secret,
and reveal the story of Fatima just as it is. No longer will I savour
the joy of sharing with You alone the secrets of Your love; but hence-
forth, others too, will sing with me the greatness of Your mercy!”

This was said by the Foundress of the Congregation of Saint Dorothy, Saint
Paula Frassinetti.
Although the spelling is often faulty, this does not affect the clear and or-
derly style of Lucia’s manuscripts.


1. Lucia’s Childhood

Your Excellency
“The Lord has looked upon His lowly handmaid” 3 : that is why
all peoples will sing the greatness of His mercy.
It seems to me, Your Excellency, that our dear Lord deigned to
favour me with the use of reason from my earliest childhood. I re-
member being conscious of my actions, even from my mother’s
arms. I remember being rocked, and falling asleep to the sound of
lullabies. Our Lord blessed my parents with five girls and one boy 4,
of whom I was the youngest 5, and I remember how they used to
squabble, because they all wanted to hold me in their arms and
play with me. On such occasions none of them ever succeeded,
because my mother used to take me away from them altogether. If
she was too busy to hold me herself, she would give me to my
father, and he also would fondle me and cover me with caresses.
The first thing I learned was the Hail Mary. While holding me
in her arms, my mother taught it to my sister Carolina, the second
youngest, and five years older than myself. My two eldest sisters
were already grown up. My mother, knowing that I repeated every-
thing I heard like a parrot, wanted them to take me with them every-
where they went. They were, as we say in our locality, the leading
lights among the young people. There was not a festival or a dance
that they did not attend. At Carnival time, on St. John’s Day and at
Christmas, there was certain to be a dance.
Besides this, there was the vintage. Then there was the olive
picking, with a dance almost every day. When the big parish fest-
ivals came round, such as the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Anthony, and so on, we always raffled
cakes; after that came a dance, without fail. We were invited to
almost all the weddings for miles around, for if they did not invite

Luke 1,48.
The names of her brother and sisters are: Maria dos Anjos, Teresa, Manuel,
Gloria, Carolina, and another girl who died in infancy.
Lucia was born on March 22nd, 1907.

my mother to be matron of honour, they were sure to need her for
the cooking. At these weddings, the dancing went on from after
the banquet until well into the next morning. Since my sisters had
to have me always with them, they took as much trouble in dress-
ing me up as they were wont to do for themselves. As one of them
was a dress maker, I was always decked out in a regional cos-
tume more elegant than that of any other girl around. I wore a
pleated skirt, a shiny belt, a cashmere kerchief with the corners
hanging down behind, and a hat decorated with gold beads and
bright coloured feathers. You would have thought sometimes, that
they were dressing a doll rather than a small child.

2. Popular Entertainments

At the dances, they deposited me on top of a wooden chest

or some other tall piece of furniture, to save me from being tram-
pled underfoot. Once on my perch, I had to sing a number of songs
to the music of the guitar or the concertina. My sisters had already
taught me to sing, as well as to dance a few waltzes when there
was a partner missing. The latter I performed with rare skill, thus
attracting the attention and applause of everyone present. Some
of them even rewarded me with gifts, in the hope of pleasing my
On Sunday afternoons, all these young people used to gather
in our yard, in the shade of three large figtrees in summer, and in
winter in an open porch that we had where my sister Maria’s house
now stands. There they spent the afternoons, playing and chatting
with my sisters. It was there that we used to raffle the sugared
almonds at Easter time, and most of them usually found their way
into my pocket, as some of the winners hoped thereby to gain our
good graces. My mother would spend these afternoons seated at
the kitchen door looking out on the yard, so that she could see all
that was going on.
Sometimes she held a book in her hand and would read for
awhile; at other times, she chatted with my aunts or neighbours,
who sat beside her. She was always very serious, and everybody
knew that what she said was like Scripture and must be obeyed
without more ado. I never knew anyone to say a disrespectful word

in her presence, or show her any lack of consideration. It was the
general opinion among them, that my mother was worth more than
all her daughters put together. I often heard my mother say:
“ I don’t know how those people enjoy running about chat-
tering from house to house! As for me, there’s nothing as good as
just staying at home for a nice quiet read! These books are full of
such wonderful things! And as for the lives of the saints, they’re
simply beautiful!”
It seems to me that I have already told Your Excellency how,
during the week, I used to spend the day surrounded by a crowd
of children from the neighbourhood. Their mothers went out to
work in the fields, so they used to ask my mother if they could
leave the children with me. When I wrote to Your Excellency about
my cousin, I think I also described our games and amusements,
so I will not dwell on them here. Amid the warmth of such affec-
tionate and tender caresses, I happily spent my first six years. To
tell the truth, the world was beginning to smile on me, and above
all, a passion for dancing was already sinking its roots deep into
my poor heart. And I must confess that the devil would have used
this to bring about my ruin, had not the good Lord shown His spe-
cial mercy towards me.
If I am not mistaken, I have also told Your Excellency in the
same account, how my mother was accustomed to teach catechism
to her children during the summer at siesta time. In the winter, we
had our lesson after supper at night, gathered round the fireside,
as we sat roasting and eating chestnuts and a sweet variety of

3. Lucia’s First Communion

The day which the parish priest had appointed for the solemn
First Communion of the children of the parish, was drawing near. In
view of the fact that I knew my catechism and was already six years
old, my mother thought that perhaps I could now make my First
Communion. To this end, she sent me with my sister Carolina to
the catechism instructions which the parish priest was giving to the
children, in preparation for this great day. I went, therefore, radiant
with joy, hoping soon to be able to receive my God for the first time.

The priest gave his instructions, seated in a chair up on a platform.
He called me to his side, and when one or other of the children was
unable to answer his questions, he told me to give the answer in-
stead, just to shame them.
The eve of the great day arrived, and the priest sent word that
all the children were to go to the church in the forenoon, so that he
could make the final decision as to which ones were to receive
their First Communion. What was not my disappointment when he
called me up beside him, caressed me and then said I was to wait
till I was seven years old! I began to cry at once, and just as I would
have done with my own mother, I laid my head on his knees and
sobbed. It happened that another priest 6 who had been called in to
help with the confessions, entered the church just at that moment.
Seeing me in this position, he asked the reason for my tears. On
being informed, he took me along to the sacristy and examined me
on the catechism and the mystery of the Eucharist. After this, he
took me by the hand and brought me to the parish priest, saying:
“Father Pena, you can let this child go to Communion. She
understands what she’s doing better than many of the others.”
“But she’s only six years old,” objected the good priest.
“Never mind! I’ll take the responsibility for that.”
“Alright then,” the good priest said to me. “Go and tell your
mother that you are making your First Communion tomorrow.”
I could never express the joy I felt. Off I went, clapping my
hands with delight, and running all the way home to give the good
news to my mother. She at once set about preparing me for the
Confession I was to make that afternoon. My mother took me to
the church, and when we arrived, I told her that I wanted to confess
to the other priest. So we went to the sacristy, where he was sitting
on a chair hearing confessions. My mother knelt down in front of
the high altar near the sacristy door, together with the other moth-
ers who were waiting for their children to confess in turn. Right
there before the Blessed Sacrament, my mother gave me her last

He was identified later as the saintly Father Cruz, S. J., died 1948.

4. Our Lady of the Rosary Smiles at Lucia

When my turn came round, I went and knelt at the feet of our
dear Lord, represented there in the person of His minister, implor-
ing forgiveness for my sins. When I had finished, I noticed that
everyone was laughing.
My mother called me to her and said: “My child, don’t you know
that confession is a secret matter and that it is made in a low voice?
Everybody heard you! There was only one thing nobody heard:
that is what you said at the end.”
On the way home, my mother made several attempts to dis-
cover what she called the secret of my confession. But the only
answer she obtained was complete silence.
Now, however, I am going to reveal the secret of my first con-
fession. After listening to me, the good priest said these few words:
“My child, your soul is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Keep it
always pure, so that He will be able to carry on His divine action
within it.”
On hearing these words, I felt myself filled with respect for my
interior, and asked the kind confessor what I ought to do.
“Kneel down there before Our Lady and ask her, with great
confidence, to take care of your heart, to prepare it to receive Her
beloved Son worthily tomorrow, and to keep it for Him alone!”
In the Church, there was more than one statue of Our Lady;
but as my sisters took care of the altar of Our Lady of the Rosary 7,
I usually went there to pray. That is why I went there on this occa-
sion also, to ask her with all the ardour of my soul, to keep my poor
heart for God alone. As I repeated this humble prayer over and
over again, with my eyes fixed on the statue, it seemed to me that
she smiled and, with a loving look and kindly gesture, assured me
that she would. My heart was overflowing with joy, and I could
scarcely utter a single word.

5. Eager Expectancy

My sisters stayed up that night making me a white dress and a

wreath of flowers. As for me, I was so happy that I could not sleep,

This beautiful statue still stands in the Parish Church on the right of the transept.

and it seemed as if the hours would never pass! I kept on getting
up to ask them if the day had come, or if they wanted me to try on
my dress, or my wreath, and so forth.
The happy day dawned at last; but nine o’clock – how long it
was in coming! I put on my white dress, and then my sister Maria
took me into the kitchen to ask pardon of my parents, to kiss their
hands and ask their blessing. After this little ceremony, my mother
gave me her last recommendations. She told me what she wanted
me to ask Our Lord when I had received Him into my heart, and
said goodbye to me in these words:
“Above all, ask Him to make you a saint.”
Her words made such an indelible impression on my heart,
that they were the very first that I said to Our Lord when I received
Him. Even today, I seem to hear the echo of my mother’s voice
repeating these words to me. I set out for the church with my sis-
ters, and my brother carried me all the way in his arms, so that not
a speck of dust from the road would touch me. As soon as I arrived
at the church, I ran to kneel before the altar of Our Lady to renew
my petition. There I remained in contemplation of Our Lady’s smile
of the previous day, until my sisters came in search of me and took
me to my appointed place. There was a large number of children,
arranged in four lines – two of boys and two of girls –from the back
of the church right up to the altar rails. Being the smallest, it hap-
pened that I was the one nearest to the ‘angels’ on the step by the
altar rails.

6. The Great Day

Once the Missa Cantata began and the great moment drew
near, my heart beat faster and faster, in expectation of the visit of
the great God who was about to descend from Heaven, to unite
Himself to my poor soul. The parish priest came down and passed
among the rows of children, distributing the Bread of Angels. I had
the good fortune to be the first one to receive. As the priest was
coming down the altar steps, I felt as though my heart would leap
from my breast. But he had no sooner placed the Divine Host on
my tongue than I felt an unalterable serenity and peace. I felt my-
self bathed in such a supernatural atmosphere that the presence
of our dear Lord became as clearly perceptible to me as if I had

seen and heard Him with my bodily senses. I then addressed my
prayer to Him:
“O Lord, make me a saint. Keep my heart always pure, for You
Then it seemed that in the depths of my heart, our dear Lord
distinctly spoke these words to me:
“The grace granted to you this day will remain living in your
soul, producing fruits of eternal life.”
I felt as though transformed in God.
It was almost one o’clock before the ceremonies were over, on
account of the late arrival of priests coming from a distance, the
sermon and the renewal of baptismal promises. My mother came
looking for me, quite distressed, thinking I might faint from weak-
ness. But I, filled to overflowing with the Bread of Angels, found it
impossible to take any food whatsoever. After this, I lost the taste
and attraction for the things of the world, and only felt at home in
some solitary place where, all alone, I could recall the delights of
my First Communion.

7. Lucia’s Family

Such moments of seclusion were rare indeed. As Your Ex-

cellency already knows, I had to look after the children whom the
neighbours entrusted to our care; and besides this, my mother was
in much demand thereabouts as a nurse. In cases of minor ills,
people came to our house to seek her advice, but when the sick
person was unable to go out, they asked my mother to go to their
homes. She often spent entire days there, and even nights. If the
illness was prolonged, or the sick person’s condition required it,
she occasionally sent my sisters to stay by the patient’s bedside at
night, to give the family a chance to get some rest. Whenever the
sick person was the mother of a young family, or some one who
could not stand the noise of children, my mother brought the little
ones to our house and charged me with keeping them occupied. I
kept the children amused, by teaching them how to prepare the
yarn for weaving: they set the wooden winder spinning to wind it
into balls; they rolled it into spools; they strung it on the skeiner to
make it into skeins; and they guided the balls of yarn as the warp
was prepared on the frame.

In this way, we always had plenty to do. There were usually
several girls working in our house, who had come to learn weaving
and dress-making. Normally, these girls showed great affection for
our family, and used to say that the best days of their lives were
those spent in our house. At certain times of the year, my sisters
had to go out working in the fields during the daytime, so they did
their weaving and sewing at night. Supper was followed by prayers
led by my father, and then the work began.
Everyone had something to do: My sister Maria went to the
loom; my father filled the spools; Teresa and Gloria went to their
sewing; my mother took up her spinning; Carolina and I, after tidy-
ing up the kitchen, had to help with the sewing, taking out basting,
sewing on buttons, and so forth; to keep drowsiness away, my
brother played the concertina, and we joined in singing all kinds of
songs. The neighbours often dropped in to keep us company and
although it meant losing their sleep, they used to tell us that the
very sound of our gaiety banished all their worries and filled them
with happiness. I heard different women sometimes say to my
“How fortunate you are! What lovely children God has given
When the time came round to harvest the corn, we removed
the husks by moonlight. There was I sitting atop a heap of corn,
and chosen to give a hug all round whenever a dark-coloured corn
cob appeared.

8. In Retrospect

I don’t know whether the facts I have related above about my

First Communion were a reality or a little child’s illusion. What I do
know is that they always had, and still have today, a great influence
in uniting me to God. What I don’t know either is why I am telling
Your Excellency all this about our family life. But it is God who in-
spires me to do so, and He knows the reason for it. Perhaps it is to
let you see how, after having had so much affection lavished upon
me, I would feel all the more deeply the suffering our dear Lord
was going to ask of me. As Your Excellency has told me to give an
account of all the sufferings that Our Lord has sent me, and all the
graces which He has deigned, in His mercy, to grant me, I think it

best to tell them just as they actually happened 8. Moreover, I feel
quite at peace about it, because I know Your Excellency will put
into the fire whatever you see does not further the glory of God and
of Mary most Holy.


1. A Mysterious Presage in 1915

This was how things were until I was seven years old. My mother
then decided that I should take over the care of our sheep. My
father did not agree, nor did my sisters. They were so fond of me,
that they wanted an exception made in my case. My mother would
not give in. “She’s just like the rest,” she said, “Carolina is already
twelve years old. That means she can now begin to work in the
fields, or else, learn to be a weaver or a seamstress, whichever
she prefers.”
The care of our flock was then given to me 9. News that I was
beginning my life as a shepherdess spread rapidly among the other
shepherds; almost all of them came and offered to be my compan-
ions. I said ‘Yes’ to everybody, and arranged with each one to meet
on the slopes of the serra. Next day, the serra was a solid mass of
sheep with their shepherds, as though a cloud had descended upon
it. But I felt ill at ease in the midst of such a hubbub. I therefore
chose three companions from among the shepherds, and without
saying a word to anyone, we arranged to pasture our sheep on the
opposite slopes. These were the three I chose: Teresa Matias, her
sister Maria Rosa and Maria Justino 10. On the following day, we
set out in the direction of a hill known as the Cabeço. We went up
the northern slope. Valinhos, a place that Your Excellency already
knows by name, is on the southern side of the same hill. On the
eastern slope is the cave I have already spoken of, in my account

This truly reveals Lucia’s simplicity, and still more her candour and honesty
in all her writing.
This was in the year 1915.
All three, while still living, were interviewd by Fr. Kondor about what Lucia
relates here.

of Jacinta. Together with our flocks, we climbed almost to the top of
the hill. At our feet lay a wide expanse of trees – olives, oaks, pines,
holmoaks, and so on, that stretched away down towards the level
valley below.
Around midday, we ate our lunch. After this, I invited my com-
panions to pray the Rosary with me, to which they eagerly agreed.
We had hardly begun when, there before our eyes, we saw a figure
poised in the air above the trees; it looked like a statue made of
snow, rendered almost transparent by the rays of the sun.
“What is that?” asked my companions, quite frightened.
“I don’t know!”
We went on praying, with our eyes fixed on the figure before
us, and as we finished our prayer, the figure disappeared. As was
usual with me, I resolved to say nothing; but my companions told
their families what had happened the very moment they reached
home. The news soon spread, and one day when I arrived home,
my mother questioned me:
“Look here! They say you’ve seen I don’t know what, up there.
What was it you saw?”
“I don’t know,” and as I could not explain it myself, I went on:
“It looked like a person wrapped up in a sheet!” As I meant to
say that I couldn’t discern its features, I added:
“You couldn’t make out any eyes, or hands, on it.”
My mother put an end to the whole matter with a gesture of
disgust: “Childish nonsense!” 11

2. Apparitions of the Angel in 1916

After some time, we returned with our flocks to the same place,
and the very same thing happened again. My companions once
more told the whole story. After a brief interval, the same thing
was repeated. It was the third time that my mother heard all these
things being talked about outside, without my having said a single
word about them at home. She called me, therefore, quite dis-
pleased, and demanded:
“Now, let us see! What is it that you girls say you saw over there?”

These indistinct apparitions of the Angel were probably meant to prepare
Lucia for the future.

“ I don’t know, Mother. I don’t know what it is!”
Some people started making fun of us. My sisters, recalling
that for some time after my First Communion I had been quite ab-
stracted, used to ask me rather scornfully:
“Do you see someone wrapped in a sheet?”
I felt these contemptuous words and gestures very keenly, as
up to now I had been used to nothing but caresses. But this was
nothing, really. You see, I did not know what the good Lord had in
store for me in the future.
Around this time, as I have already related to Your Excellency,
Francisco and Jacinta sought and obtained permission from their
parents to start taking care of their own flock. So I left my good
companions, and I joined my cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, in-
stead. To avoid going to the serra with all the other shepherds, we
arranged to pasture our flocks on properties belonging to my un-
cle and aunt and my parents.
One fine day, we set out with our sheep for some land that my
parents owned, which lay at the foot of the eastern slope of the hill
that I have already mentioned. This property was called Chousa
Velha. Soon after our arrival, about midmorning, a fine drizzle be-
gan to fall, so fine that it seemed like mist. We went up the hillside,
followed by our flocks, looking for an overhanging boulder where we
could take shelter. Thus it was for the first time that we entered this
blessed hollow among the rocks. It stood in the middle of an olive
grove belonging to my godfather Anastácio. From there, you could
see the little village where I was born, my parents’ home, and the
hamlets of Casa Velha and Eira da Pedra. The olive grove, owned
by several people, extended to within the confines of the hamlets
themselves. We spent the day there among the rocks, in spite of
the fact that the rain was over and the sun was shining bright and
clear. We ate our lunch and said our Rosary. I’m not sure whether
we said it that day in the way I have already described to Your
Excellency, saying just the word Hail-Mary and Our-Father on each
bead, so great was our eagemess to get to our play! Our prayer
finished, we started to play ‘pebbles’!
We had enjoyed the game for a few moments only, when a
strong wind began to shake the trees. We looked up, startled, to
see what was happening, for the day was unusually calm. Then we

saw coming towards us, above the olive trees, the figure I have
already spoken about 12. Jacinta and Francisco had never seen it
before, nor had I ever mentioned it to them. As it drew closer, we
were able to distinguish its features. It was a young man, about
fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal
when the sun shines through it, and of great beauty. On reaching
us, he said:
“Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead
touched the ground, and made us repeat these words three times:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon
of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and
do not love You.”
Then, rising, he said: “Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary
are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”
His words engraved themselves so deeply on our minds that
we could never forget them. From then on, we used to spend long
periods of time, prostrate like the Angel, repeating his words, until
sometimes we fell, exhausted. I warned my companions, right away,
that this must be kept secret and, thank God, they did what I wanted.
Some time passed 13, and summer came, when we had to go
home for siesta. One day, we were playing on the stone slabs of
the well down at the bottom of the garden belonging to my parents,
which we called the Arneiro. (I have already mentioned this well to
Your Excellency in my account of Jacinta). Suddenly, we saw be-
side us the same figure, or rather Angel, as it seemed to me.
“What are you doing?” he asked. “Pray, pray very much! The
most holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on
you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”
“How are we to make sacrifices?” I asked.
“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as
an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in
supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down
peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of

This was the first apparition of the Angel, who appeared three times in
The second apparition of the same Angel.

Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission, the suffering
which the Lord will send you.”
A considerable time had elapsed, when one day we went to
pasture our sheep on a property belonging to my parents, which
lay on the slope of the hill I have mentioned, a little higher up than
Valinhos. It is an olive grove called Pregueira. After our lunch, we
decided to go and pray in the hollow among the rocks on the oppos-
ite side of the hill. To get there, we went around the slope, and had
to climb over some rocks above the Pregueira. The sheep could
only scramble over these rocks with great difficuity.
As soon as we arrived there, we knelt down, with our fore-
heads touching the ground, and began to repeat the prayer of the
Angel: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You...”, I don’t
know how many times we had repeated this prayer, when an ex-
traordinary light shone upon us. We sprang up to see what was
happening, and beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his
left hand, with the Host suspended above it, from which some drops
of blood fell into the chalice 14. Leaving the chalice suspended in
the air, the Angel knelt down beside us and made us repeat three
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You
profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul
and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the
world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference
with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits
of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg
of You the conversion of poor sinners.”
Then, rising, he took the chalice and the Host in his hands. He
gave the Sacred Host to me, and shared the Blood from the chal-
ice between Jacinta and Francisco 15, saying as he did so:
“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly
outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and
console your God.”

The third and last apparition of the same Angel.
Francisco and Jacinta had not yet received their First Communion. How-
ever, they never regarded this as a sacramental Communion.

Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with
us, three times more, the same prayer “Most Holy Trinity...” and
then disappeared.
We remained a long time in this position, repeating the same
words over and over again. When at last we stood up, we noticed
that it was already dark, and therefore time to return home.

3. Trouble at Home

Here I am, Your Excellency, at the end of my three years as a

shepherdess, from the time I was seven until I was ten years old.
During these three years, our home, and I would venture to say,
our parish as well, underwent an almost total change. Reverend
Father Pena was no longer our parish priest, and had been re-
placed by Reverend Father Boicinha 16. When this most zealous
priest learned that such a pagan custom as endless dancing was
only too common in the parish, he promptly began to preach against
it from the pulpit in his Sunday sermons. In public and in private, he
lost no opportunity of attacking this bad custom. As soon as my
mother heard the good priest speak in this fashion, she forbade my
sisters to attend such amusements. As my sisters’ example led
others also to refrain from attending, this custom gradually died
out. The same thing happened among the children, who used to
get up their little dances apart, as I have already explained to Your
Excellency when writing about my cousin Jacinta.
Apropos of this, somebody remarked one day to my mother:
“Up to now, it was no sin to go to dances, but just because we have
a new parish priest, it is a sin. How could that be?”
“I don’t know,” replied my mother. “All I know is that the priest
does not want dancing, so my daughters are not going to such
gatherings any more. At most, I would let them dance a bit within
the family, because the priest says there is no harm in that.”
During this period, my two eldest sisters left home, after re-
ceiving the sacrament of matrimony. My father had fallen into bad
company, and let his weakness get the better of him; this meant

His proper name was Fr. Manuel Marques Ferreira. He died in January, 1945.

the loss of some of our property 17. When my mother realized that
our means of livelihood were diminishing, she resolved to send my
two sisters, Gloria and Carolina, out to work as servants.
At home, there remained only my brother, to look after our few
remaining fields; my mother, to take care of the house; and myself,
to take our sheep out to pasture. My poor mother seemed just
drowned in the depths of distress. When we gathered round the
fire at night time, waiting for my father to come in to supper, my
mother would look at her daughters’ empty places and exclaim
with profound sadness: “My God, where has all the joy of our home
gone?” Then, resting her head on a little table beside her, she would
burst into bitter tears. My brother and I wept with her. It was one of
the saddest scenes I have ever witnessed. What with longing for
my sisters, and seeing my mother so miserable, I felt my heart was
just breaking. Although I was only a child, I understood perfectly
the situation we were in.
Then I remembered the Angel’s words: “Above all, accept
submissively the sacrifices that the Lord will send you.” At such
times, I used to withdraw to a solitary place, so as not to add to my
mother’s suffering, by letting her see my own. This place, usually,
was our well. There, on my knees, leaning over the edge of the
stone slabs that covered the well, my tears mingled with the wa-
ters below and I offered my suffering to God. Sometimes, Jacinta
and Francisco would come and find me like this, in bitter grief. As
my voice was choked with sobs and I couldn’t say a word, they
shared my suffering to such a degree that they also wept copious
tears. Then Jacinta made our offering aloud: “My God, it is as an
act of reparation, and for the conversion of sinners, that we offer
You all these sufferings and sacrifices.” The formula of the offering
was not always exact, but the meaning was always the same.
So much suffering began to undermine my mother’s health.
She was no longer able to work, so she sent for my sister Gloria to
come and take care of her, and look after the house as well. All the

One should not exaggerate her father’s conduct. Even if it is true that he
liked his wine, he must not be regarded as an alcoholic. As to his religious
duties, it is certain that he did not fulfil them in the parish of Fatima for some
years, as he did not get along with the priest. However, he did fulfil his
Easter duty in Vila Nova de Ourem.

surgeons and doctors around were consulted. We had recourse to
every kind of remedy, but there was no improvement whatsoever.
The good parish priest kindly offered to take my mother to Leiria in
his mule cart, to consult the doctors there. Accompanied by my
sister Teresa, she went to Leiria. But she arrived home half dead
from such a journey, worn out after so many consultations, and
having obtained no beneficial results of any kind. Finally, a sur-
geon in S. Mamede was consulted. He declared that my mother
had a cardiac lesion, a dislocated spinal vertebra, and fallen kid-
neys. He prescribed for her a rigorous treatment of red-hot nee-
dles and various kinds of medication, and this brought about some
improvement in her condition.
This is how things were with us when the 13th of May, 1917,
arrived. It was around this time also that my brother reached the
age for enlistment in the army. As his health was excellent, there
was every reason to expect that he would be accepted. Besides,
there was a war on, and it would be difficult to obtain his exemption
from military service. My mother, afraid of being left alone and with
no one to look after the land, sent also for my sister Carolina to
come home. Meanwhile, my brother’s godfather promised to ob-
tain his exemption. He put in a word with the doctor responsible for
his medical examination, and thus the good Lord deigned to grant
my mother this relief.

4. Apparitions of Our Lady

I will not delay now describing the Apparition of May 13th. It is

well known to Your Excellency, and it would therefore be a waste of
time for me to go into it here. You also know how my mother came
to be aware of what happened, and how she spared no efforts to
make me admit that I had lied. We agreed never to reveal to any-
one the words that Our Lady spoke to us that day. After having
promised to take us to Heaven, she asked:
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God to bear all the
sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins
by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of
“Yes, we are willing,” was our reply.

“Then, you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of
God will be your comfort.”
The 13th of June, feast of St. Anthony, was always a day of
great festivities in our parish. On that day, we usually let out the
flocks very early in the morning, and at nine o’clock we shut them
up in their pens again, and went off to the festa. My mother and my
sisters, who knew how much I loved a festa, kept saying to me:
“We’ve yet to see if you’ll leave the festa just to go to the Cova da
Iria, and talk to that Lady!” On the day itself nobody said a single
word to me. Insofar as I was concerned, they acted as if they were
saying: “Leave her alone; and we’ll soon see what she’ll do!”
I let out my flock at daybreak, intending to put them back in
the pen at nine, go to Mass at ten, and after that, go to the Cova
da Iria. But the sun was no sooner up than my brother came to call
me. He told me to go back home, as there were several people
there wanting to speak to me. He himself stayed with the flock,
and I went to see what they wanted. I found some women, and
men too, who had come from such places as Minde, from around
Tomar, Carrascos, Boleiros, etc 18. They wished to accompany me
to the Cova da Iria. I told them that it was early as yet, and invited
them to go with me to the 8 o’clock Mass. After that, I returned
home. These good people waited for me out in the yard, in the
shade of our fig trees.
My mother and my sisters persisted in their contemptuous at-
titude, and this cut me to the heart, and was indeed as hurtful to
me as insults.
Around 11 o’clock, I left home and called at my uncle’s house,
where Jacinta and Francisco were waiting for me. Then we set off
for the Cova da Iria, in expectation of the longed-for moment. All
those people followed us, asking a thousand questions. On that
day, I was overwhelmed with bitterness. I could see that my mother
was deeply distressed, and that she wanted at all costs to compel
me, as she put it, to admit that I had lied. I wanted so much to do as
she wished, but the only way I could do so was to tell a lie. From the
cradle, she had instilled into her children a great horror of Iying,

These places are situated in the vicinity of Fatima, some as distant as 15

and she used to chastise severely any one of us who told an un-
“ I’ve seen to it,” she often said, “that my children always told the
truth, and am I now to let the youngest get away with a thing like this?
If it were just a small thing...! But a lie of such proportions, deceiving
so many people and bringing them all the way here!” After these
bitter complaints, she would turn to me, saying: “Make up your mind
which you want! Either undo all this deception by telling these peo-
ple that you’ve lied, or I’ll lock you up in a dark room where you
won’t even see the light of the sun. After all the troubles I’ve been
through, and now a thing like this to happen!” My sisters sided with
my mother, and all around me the atmosphere was one of utter
scorn and contempt.
Then I would remember the old days, and ask myself: “Where
is all that affection now, that my family had for me just such a short
while ago?” My one relief was to weep before the Lord, as I offered
Him my sacrifice. It was on this very day that, in addition to what I
have already narrated, Our Lady, as though guessing what was
going on, said to me:
“Are you suffering a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never
forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way
that will lead you to God.”
When Jacinta saw me in tears, she tried to console me, saying:
“Don’t cry. Surely, these are the sacrifices which the Angel
said that God was going to send us. That’s why you are suffering,
so that you can make reparation to Him and convert sinners.”

5. Lucia’s Doubts and Temptations 19

Around that time, our parish priest came to know of what was
happening, and sent word to my mother to take me to his house.
My mother felt she could breathe again, thinking the priest was
going to take responsibility for these events on himself. She there-
fore said to me:

One should note that this was a state of confusion and helplessness, rather
than actual doubts, and it was caused by the difficulties in her family, be-
sides the cautious attitude of the priest.

“Tomorrow, we’re going to Mass, the first thing in the morning.
Then, you are going to the Reverend Father’s house. Just let him
compel you to tell the truth, no matter how he does it; let him pun-
ish you; let him do whatever he likes with you, just so long as he
forces you to admit that you have lied; and then I’ll be satisfied.”
My sisters also took my mother’s part and invented endless
threats, just to frighten me about the interview with the parish priest.
I told Jacinta and her brother all about it.
“We’re going also,’’ they replied. “The Reverend Father told our
mother to take us there too, but she didn’t say any of those things
to us. Never mind! If they beat us, we’ll suffer for love of Our Lord
and for sinners.”
Next day I walked along behind my mother, who did not ad-
dress one single word to me the whole way. I must admit that I was
trembling at the thought of what was going to happen. During Mass,
I offered my suffering to God. Afterwards, I followed my mother out
of the church over to the priest’s house, and started up the stairs
leading to the verandah. We had climbed only a few steps, when
my mother turned round and exclaimed:
“Don’t annoy me any more! Tell the Reverend Father now that
you lied, so that on Sunday he can say in the church that it was all
a lie, and that will be the end of the whole affair. A nice business,
this is! All this crowd running to the Cova da Iria, just to pray in front
of a holm oak bush!”
Without more ado, she knocked on the door. The good priest’s
sister opened the door and invited us to sit down on a bench and
wait a while. At last, the parish priest appeared. He took us into his
study, motioned my mother to a seat, and beckoned me over to his
desk. When I found that His Reverence was questioning me quite
calmly, and with such a kindly manner, I was amazed. I was still
fearful, however, of what was yet to come. The interrogation was
very minute and, I would even venture to say, tiresome. His Rever-
ence concluded with this brief observation:
“It doesn’t seem to me like a revelation from heaven. It is usual in
such cases for Our Lord to tell the souls to whom He makes such
communications to give their confessor or parish priest an account
of what has happened. But this child, on the contrary, keeps it to
herself as far as she can. This may also be a deceit of the devil. We
shall see. The future will show us what we are to think about it all.”

6. Encouragement from Jacinta and Francisco

How much this reflection made me suffer, only God knows, for
He alone can penetrate our inmost heart. I began then to have
doubts as to whether these manifestations might be from the devil,
who was seeking by these means to make me lose my soul. As I
heard people say that the devil always brings conflict and disorder,
I began to think that, truly, ever since I had started seeing these
things, our home was no longer the same, for joy and peace had
fled. What anguish I felt! I made known my doubts to my cousins.
“No, it’s not the devil!” – replied Jacinta, “not at all! They say
that the devil is very ugly and that he’s down under the ground in
hell. But that Lady is so beautiful, and we saw her go up to heaven!”
Our Lord made use of this to allay somewhat the doubts I had.
But during the course of that month, I lost all enthusiasm for mak-
ing sacrifices and acts of mortification, and ended up hesitating as
to whether it wouldn’t be better to say that I had been Iying, and so
put an end to the whole thing.
“Don’t do that!” exclaimed Jacinta and Francisco. “Don’t you
see that now you are going to tell a lie, and to tell lies is a sin?”
While in this state of mind, I had a dream which only increased
the darkness of my spirit. I saw the devil laughing at having de-
ceived me, as he tried to drag me down to hell. On finding myself in
his clutches, I began to scream so loudly and call on Our Lady for
help that I awakened my mother. She called out to me in alarm,
and asked me what was the matter. I can’t recall what I told her, but
I do remember that I was so paralysed with fear that I couldn’t
sleep any more that night. This dream left my soul clouded over
with real fear and anguish. My one relief was to go off by myself to
some solitary place, there to weep to my heart’s content. Even the
company of my cousins began to seem burdensome, and for that
reason, I began to hide from them as well. The poor children! At
times, they would search for me, calling out my name and receiv-
ing no answer, but I was there all the while, hidden right close to
them in some corner where they never thought of looking.
The 13th of July was close at hand, and I was still doubtful as
to whether I should go. I thought to myself: “If it’s the devil, why
should I go to see him? If they ask me why I’m not going, I’ll say
that I’m afraid it might be the devil who is appearing to us, and for

that reason I’m not going. Let Jacinta and Francisco do as they
like; I’m not going back to the Cova da Iria any more.” My decision
made, I was firmly resolved to act on it.
By the evening of the 12th, the people were already gathering,
in anticipation of the events of the following day. I therefore called
Jacinta and Francisco, and told them of my resolution.
“We’re going,” they answered. “The Lady said we were to go.”
Jacinta volunteered to speak to the Lady, but she was so up-
set over my not going, that she started to cry. I asked the reason for
her tears.
“Because you don’t want to go!”
“No, I’m not going. Listen! If the Lady asks for me, tell her I’m
not going, because I’m afraid it may be the devil.”
I left them then, to go and hide, and so avoid having to speak
to all the people who came looking for me to ask questions. My
mother thought I was playing with the children of the village, when
all the time I was hidden behind the bramble bushes in a neigh-
bour’s property which adjoined the Arneiro, a little to the east of the
well which I have mentioned so many times already. She scolded
me, as soon as I got home that night:
“A fine little plaster saint you are, to be sure! All the time you
have left from minding the sheep, you do nothing but play, and
what’s more you have to do it in such a way that nobody can find
On the following day, when it was nearly time to leave, I sud-
denly felt I had to go, impelled by a strange force that I could hardly
resist. Then I set out, and called at my uncle’s house to see if Jacinta
was still there. I found her in her room, together with her brother
Francisco, kneeling beside the bed, crying.
“Aren’t you going then?” I asked.
“Not without you! We don’t dare. Do come!”
“Yes, I’m going,” I replied.
Their faces lighted up with joy, and they set out with me.
Crowds of people were waiting for us along the road, and only
with difficulty did we finally get there. This was the day on which
Our Lady deigned to reveal to us the Secret. After that, to revive my
flagging fervour, she said to us:
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times to Je-
sus, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is

for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for
the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

7. Lucia’s Mother has her Doubts

Thanks to our good Lord, this apparition dispelled the clouds

from my soul and my peace was restored. My poor mother worried
more and more, as she saw the crowds who came flocking from all
“These poor people,” she said, “come here, taken in by your
trickery, you can be sure of that, and I really don’t know what I can
do to undeceive them.”
A poor man who boasted of making fun of us, of insulting us
and of even going so far as to beat us, asked my mother one day:
“Well, ma’am, what have you got to say about your daughter’s
“ I don’t know,” she answered. “lt seems to me that she’s noth-
ing but a fake, who is leading half the world astray.”
“Don’t say that out loud, or somebody’s likely to kill her. I think
there are people around here, who’d be only too glad to do so.”
“Oh, I don’t care, just so long as they force her to confess the
truth. As for me, I always tell the truth, whether against my children,
or anybody else, or even against myself.”
And, truly, this was so. My mother always told the truth, even
against herself. We, her children, are indebted to her for this good
One day, she resolved to make a fresh attempt to compel me
to retract all that I had said, as she put it. She made up her mind to
take me back the very next day to the parish priest’s house. Once
there, I was to confess that I had lied, to ask his pardon, and to
perform whatever penance His Reverence thought fit or desired to
impose on me. This time the attack was so strong, that I did not
know what to do. On the way, as I passed my uncle’s house, I ran
inside to tell Jacinta, who was still in bed, what was taking place.
Then I hurried out and followed my mother. In my account about
Jacinta, I have already told Your Excellency about the part played
by her and her brother in this trial which the Lord had sent us, and
how they prayed as they waited for me at the well, and so on.

As we walked along, my mother preached me a fine sermon.
At a certain point, I said to her, trembling: “But, mother, how can I
say that I did not see, when I did see?” My mother was silent. As
we drew near the priest’s house, she declared: “Just you listen to
me! What I want is that you should tell the truth. If you saw, say so!
But if you didn’t see, admit that you lied.”
Without another word, we climbed the stairs, and the good
priest received us in his study with the greatest kindness and even,
I might almost say, with affection. He questioned me seriously, but
most courteously, and resorted to various stratagems to see if I
would contradict myself, or be inconsistent in my statements. Fi-
nally, he dismissed us, shrugging his shoulders, as if to imply: “ I
don’t know what to make of all this!”

8. The Administrator’s Threats

Not many days later, our parents were notified to the effect
that all three of us, Jacinta, Francisco and myself, together with our
fathers, were to appear at a given hour on the following day before
the Administration in Vila Nova de Ourém. This meant that we had
to make a journey of about nine miles, a considerable distance for
three small children. The only means of transport in those days
was either our own two feet or to ride on a donkey. My uncle sent
word right away to say that he would appear himself, but as for his
children, he was not taking them.
«They’d never stand the trip on foot,” he said, ”and not being
used to riding, they could never manage to stay on the donkey. And
any way, there’s no sense in bringing two children like that before a
My parents thought the very opposite.
“ My daughter is going. Let her answer for herself. As for me, I
understand nothing of these things. If she’s Iying, it’s a good thing
that she should be punished for it.”
Very early next morning 20, they put me on a donkey and off I
went, accompanied by my father and uncle. I fell off the donkey
three times along the way. I think I have already told Your Excellency
how much Jacinta and Francisco suffered that day, thinking that I
The day was the 11th of August.

was going to be killed. As for me, what hurt me most, was the
indifference shown me by my parents. This was all the more obvi-
ous, since I could see how affectionately my aunt and uncle treated
their children. I remember thinking to myself as we went along:
“How different my parents are from my uncle and aunt. They
risk themselves to defend their children, while my parents hand me
over with the greatest indifference, and let them do what they like
with me! But I must be patient,” I reminded myself in my inmost
heart, “since this means I have the happiness of suffering more for
love of You, O my God, and for the conversion of sinners.” This
reflection never failed to bring me consolation.
At the Administration office, I was interrogated by the Adminis-
trator, in the presence of my father, my uncle and several other
gentlemen who were strangers to me. The Administrator was de-
termined to force me to reveal the secret and to promise him never
again to retum to the Cova da Iria. To attain his end, he spared
neither promises, nor even threats. Seeing that he was getting no-
where, he dismissed me, protesting however, that he would achieve
his end, even if this meant that he had to take my life. He then
strongly reprimanded my uncle for not having carried out his or-
ders, and finally let us go home.

9. Trouble in Lucia’s Family

In the intimacy of my own family, there was fresh trouble, and

the blame for this was thrown on me. The Cova da Iria was a piece
of land belonging to my parents. In the hollow, it was more fertile,
and there we cultivated maize, greens, peas and other vegetables.
On the slopes grew olive trees, oaks and holm oaks. Now, ever
since the people began to go there, we had been unable to culti-
vate anything at all. Everything was trampled on. As the majority
came mounted, their animals ate up all they could find and wrecked
the whole place. My mother bewailed her loss: “You, now,” she said
to me, “when you want something to eat, go and ask the Lady for
it!” My sisters chimed in with: “Yes, you can have what grows in the
Cova da Iria!”
These remarks cut me to the heart, so much so that I hardly
dared to take a piece of bread to eat. To force me to tell the truth, as

she said, my mother, more often than not, beat me soundly with
the broom-handle or a stick from the woodpile near the fireplace.
But in spite of this, mother that she was, she then tried to revive my
failing strength. She was full of concern when she saw me so thin
and pale, and feared I might fall sick. Poor mother! Now, indeed,
that I understand what her situation really was, how sorry l feel for
her! Truly, she was right to judge me unworthy of such a favour,
and therefore to think I was Iying.
By a special grace from Our Lord, I never experienced the
slightest thought or feeling of resentment regarding her manner of
acting towards me. As the Angel had announced that God would
send me sufferings, I always saw the hand of God in it all. The love,
esteem and respect which I owed her, went on increasing, just as
though I were most dearly cherished. And now, I am more grateful
to her for having treated me like this, than if she had continued to
surround me with endearments and caresses.

10. Lucia’s First Spiritual Director

It seems to me that it was in the course of this month 21 that

Rev. Dr. Formigão came for the first time to question me. His inter-
rogation was serious and detailed. I liked him very much, for he
spoke to me a great deal about the practice of virtue, and taught
me various ways of exercising myself in it. He showed me a holy
picture of St. Agnes, told me about her martyrdom and encouraged
me to imitate her. His Reverence continued to come every month
for an interrogation, and always ended up by giving me some good
advice, which was of help to me spiritually. One day he said to me:
“My child, you must love Our Lord very much, in return for so
many favours and graces that He is granting you.”
These words made such an impression on my soul that, from
then on, I acquired the habit of constantly saying to Our Lord: “My
God, I love You, in thanksgiving for the graces which You have
granted me.” I so loved this ejaculation, that I passed it on to Jacinta
and her brother, who took it so much to heart that, in the middle of

Dr. Manuel Nunes Formigão Junior, later the great apostle of Fatima,
went first to the Cova where the Apparitions took place on the 13th of
September, and not in August.

the most exciting games, Jacinta would ask: “Have you been for-
getting to tell Our Lord how much you love Him for the graces He
has given us?”

11. Imprisonment at Ourém

Meanwhile the 13th day of August had dawned. Ever since the
previous evening, crowds had been pouring in from all parts. They
all wanted to see and question us, and recommend their petitions
to us, so that we could transmit them to the most Holy Virgin. In the
middle of all that crowd, we were like a ball in the hands of boys at
play. We were pulled hither and thither, everyone asking us ques-
tions without giving us a chance to answer anybody. In the midst of
all this commotion, an order came from the Administrator, telling
me to go to my aunt’s house, where he was awaiting me. My father
got the notification and it was he who took me there. When I ar-
rived, he was in a room with my cousins. He interrogated us there,
and made fresh attempts to force us to reveal the secret and to
promise that we would not go back to the Cova da Iria. As he
achieved nothing, he gave orders to my father and my uncle to
take us to the parish priest’s house.
I will not delay now to tell Your Excellency about everything
else that happened during our imprisonment, for you already know
it all. As I have previously explained to Your Excellency, what I felt
most deeply and what caused me most suffering on that occasion
was my being completely abandoned by my family; and it was the
same for my little cousins. After this journey or imprisonment, for I
really don’t know what to call it, I returned home, as far as I can
remember, on the 15th of August. To celebrate my arrival, they sent
me right away to let out the sheep and take them off to pasture. My
uncle and aunt wanted their children to stay with them at home,
and therefore sent their brother John in their place. As it was al-
ready late, we stayed in the vicinity of our little hamlet, at a place
called Valinhos 22.
Lucia mentions here and also elsewhere, that the apparition occurred at
Valinhos on August 15th, that is, on the day of her return from Vila Nova de
Ourém. This is a mistake; the day of her return from Ourém was certainly
the 15th of August, but the apparition occurred on the following Sunday,
19th of August, 1917.

What happened next, is also known to Your Excellency; there-
fore I will not delay here to describe this either. Once again, the
most Blessed Virgin recommended to us the practice of mortifica-
tion, and ended by saying:
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many
souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves
and to pray for them.”

12. Penances and Sufferings

Some days later, as we were walking along the road with our
sheep, I found a piece of rope that had fallen off a cart. I picked it up
and, just for fun, I tied it round my arm. Before long, I noticed that
the rope was hurting me.
“Look, this hurts!” I said to my cousins. “We could tie it round
our waists and offer this sacrifice to God.”
The poor children promptly fell in with my suggestion. We then
set about dividing it between the three of us, by placing it across a
stone and striking it with the sharp edge of another one that served
as a knife. Either because of the thickness or roughness of the
rope, or because we sometimes tied it too tightly, this instrument of
penance often caused us terrible suffering. Now and then, Jacinta
could not keep back her tears, so great was the discomfort this
caused her. Whenever I urged her to remove it, she replied: “No! I
want to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord in reparation, and for the
conversion of sinners.”
Another day we were playing, picking little plants off the walls
and pressing them in our hands to hear them crack. While Jacinta
was plucking these plants, she happened to catch hold of some
nettles and stung herself. She no sooner felt the pain than she
squeezed them more tightly in her hands, and said to us: “Look!
Look! Here is something else with which we can mortify ourselves!”
From that time on, we used to hit our legs occasionally with nettles,
so as to offer to God yet another sacrifice.
If I am not mistaken, it was also during this month that we
acquired the habit of giving our lunch to our little poor children, as
I have already described to Your Excellency in the account about
Jacinta. It was during this month too, that my mother began to feel
a little more at peace. She would say: “If there were even just one

more person who had seen something, why then, I might believe!
But among all those people, they’re the only ones who saw any-
Now, during this past month, various people were saying that
they had seen different things. Some had seen Our Lady, others,
various signs in the sun, and so on. My mother declared: “ I used to
think before, that if there were just one other person who saw any-
thing, then I’d believe; but now, so many people say they have seen
something, and I still don’t believe!” My father also began, about
then, to come to my defence, and to silence those who started
scolding me; as he used to say: “We don’t know if it’s true, but
neither do we know if it’s a lie.”
Then it was that my uncle and aunt, wearied by the trouble-
some demands of all these outsiders who were continually want-
ing to see us and speak to us, began to send their son John out to
pasture the flock, and they themselves remained at home with
Jacinta and Francisco. Shortly afterwards, they ended by selling
the sheep altogether. As I did not enjoy any other company, I started
to go out alone with my sheep. As I’ve already told Your Excellency,
whenever I happened to be nearby, Jacinta and her brother would
come to join me; and when the pasture was at a distance they
would be waiting for me on my way home. I can truly say that these
were really happy days. Alone, in the midst of my sheep, whether
on the tops of the hills or in the depths of the valleys below, I contem-
plated the beauty of the heavens and thanked the good God for all
the graces He had bestowed on me. When the voice of one of my
sisters broke in on my solitude, calling for me to go back home to
talk to some person or other who had come looking for me, I felt a
keen displeasure, and my only consolation was to be able to offer
up to our dear Lord yet another sacrifice.
On a certain day, three gentlemen came to speak to us. After
their questioning, which was anything but pleasant, they took their
leave with this remark: “See that you decide to tell that secret of
yours. If you don’t, the Administrator has every intention of taking
your lives!” Jacinta, her face lighting up with a joy that she made no
effort to hide, said: “How wonderful! I so love Our Lord and Our
Lady, and this way we’ll be seeing them soon!” The rumour got
round that the Administrator did really intend to kill us. This led my
aunt, who was married and lived in Casais, to come to our house

with the express purpose of taking us home with her, for, as she
explained: “ I live in another district and, therefore, this Administra-
tor cannot lay hands on you there.” But her plan was never carried
out, because we were unwilling to go, and replied: “ If they kill us,
it’s all the same! We’ll go to Heaven!”

13. September 13th

Now the 13th of September was drawing near. In addition to

what I have already related, Our Lady said to us on this day:
“God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you
to sleep with the rope on; only wear it during the day.”
Needless to say, we promptly obeyed His orders. Since it seems
Our Lord had, a month before, wished to give some visible sign out
of the ordinary, my mother eagerly hoped that, on this day, such
signs would be still more clear and evident. The good Lord, how-
ever, perhaps to give us the opportunity to offer him yet another
sacrifice, permitted that no ray of His glory should appear on this
day. My mother lost heart once more, and the persecution at home
began all over again. She had indeed many reasons for being so
upset. The Cova da Iria was now a total loss, not only as a fine
pasture for our flock, but even as regards the eatables we had grown
there. Added to this was my mother’s almost certain conviction, as
she expressed it, that the events themselves were nothing but fool-
ish fancies and mere childish imaginings. One of my sisters did
scarcely anything else but go and call me, and take my place with
the flock, while I went to speak to the people who were asking to
see me and talk to me.
This waste of time would have meant nothing to a wealthy fam-
ily, but for ourselves, who had to live by our work, it meant a great
deal. After some time, my mother found herself obliged to sell our
flock, and this made no small difference to the support of the family.
I was blamed for the whole thing, and at critical moments, it was all
flung in my face. I hope our dear Lord has accepted it all from me,
for I offered it to Him, always happy to be able to sacrifice myself for
Him and for sinners. On her part, my mother endured everything
with heroic patience and resignation; and if she reprimanded me
and punished me, it was because she really thought that I was

Iying. She was completely resigned to the crosses which Our Lord
was sending her, and at times she would say: “Could it be that all
this is God’s work, in punishment for my sins? If so, then blessed
be God!”

14. Lucia’s Spirit of Sacrifice

A neighbour took it upon herself one day, why I don’t know, to

remark that some gentlemen had given me some money, though I
cannot remember how much. Without more ado, my mother called
me and asked for it. When I told her I hadn’t received any, she
wanted to force me to hand it over to her, and to this end, had
recourse to the broom-handle. When the dust had been well beaten
out of my clothes, Carolina, one of my sisters, intervened, along
with a girl from our neighbourhood called Virginia. They said they
had been present at the interrogation, and they had seen that the
gentlemen had actually given me nothing at all. Thanks to their
defending me, I was able to slip away to my-beloved well, and there
offer yet another sacrifice to our good Lord.

15. A Tall Visitor

If I am not mistaken, it was also during this month 23 that a

young man made his appearance at our home. He was of such tall
stature that I trembled with fear. When I saw that he had to bend
down in order to come through the doorway in search of me, I
thought I must be in the presence of a German. At that time we
were at war, and grown-ups would try to frighten children by say-
ing: “Here comes a German to kill you.”
I thought, therefore, that my last hour had come. My fright did
not pass unnoticed by the young man, who sought to calm me; he
made me sit on his knee and questioned me with great kindness.
His interrogation over, he asked my mother to let me go and show
him the site of the apparitions, and pray with him there. He ob-
tained the desired permission and off we went. But, all along the
way, I trembled with fear at finding myself alone in the company of
This refers to the visit of Dr. Carlos de Azevedo Mendes on the 8th of Sep-
tember, 1917.

this stranger. Then I began to feel tranquil again at the thought that
if he killed me, I would go to see Our Lord and Our Lady.
On arriving at the place, he knelt down and asked me to pray
the Rosary with him to obtain a special grace from Our Lady that
he greatly desired: that a certain young lady would consent to re-
ceive with him the sacrament of matrimony. I wondered at such a
request, and thought to myself: “ If she has as much fear of him as
I, she will never say Yes!” When the Rosary was over, the good
young man accompanied me most of the way home, and then bade
me a friendly farewell, recommending his request to me again. I
ran off helter skelter to my aunt’s house, still afraid he might turn
round and come back!
What was my surprise then, on the 13th of October, when I
suddenly found myself, after the apparitions, in the arms of this
same person, sailing along over the heads of the people. It actually
served to satisfy the curiosity of everybody who wanted to see me!
After a little while, the good man, who was unable to see where he
was going, stumbled and fell. l didn‘t fall, as I was caught in the
crush of people who pressed around me. Right away, others took
hold of me, and this gentleman disappeared. It was not until some
time later that he appeared again, this time accompanied by the
aforesaid girl, who was now his wife! He came to thank the Blessed
Virgin for the grace received, and to ask her copious blessings on
their future. This young man is today Dr. Carlos Mendes of Torres

16. October 13th

Now, Your Excellency, here we are at the 13th of October. You

already know all that happened on that day. Of all the words spo-
ken at this Apparition, the ones most deeply engraved upon my
heart were those of the request made by our heavenly Mother:
“Do not offend Our Lord and God any more, because He is
already so much offended!” How loving a complaint, how tender a
request! Who will grant me to make it echo through the whole world,
so that all the children of our Mother in Heaven may hear the sound
of her voice!
The rumour had spread that the authorities intended to ex-
plode a bomb quite close to us, at the very moment of the Appari-

tion. This did not frighten me in the least. I spoke of it to my cousins.
“How wonderful!” we exclaimed, “if we were granted the grace of
going up to Heaven from there, together with Our Lady!” My par-
ents, however, were very much afraid, and for the first time they
wished to accompany me, saying that if their daughter was going
to die, they wanted to die by her side. My father then took me by the
hand to the place of the Apparitions. But from the moment of the
Apparition itself, I did not set eyes on him again until I was back
home with the family that night.
I spent the afternoon of that day with my cousins. We were like
some curious creature that the multitudes wanted to see and ob-
serve. By night time I was really exhausted after so many ques-
tions and interrogations. These did not even end with nightfall. Sev-
eral people, who had been unable to question me, remained over
till the following day, awaiting their turn. Some of them even tried to
talk to me that night, but, overcome by weariness, I just dropped
down and fell asleep on the floor. Thank God, human respect and
self-love were, at that time, still unknown to me. For that reason, I
was as much at ease with any person at all, as I was with my
On the following day, or rather, to be accurate, on the following
days, the questionings continued. Almost every day, from then on,
people went to the Cova da Iria to implore the protection of our
heavenly Mother. Everybody wanted to see the seers, to put ques-
tions to them, and to recite the Rosary with them. At times, I was so
tired of saying the same thing over and over again, and also of
praying, that I looked for any pretext for excusing myself, and mak-
ing my escape. But those poor people were so insistent, that I had
to make an effort, and indeed no small effort, in order to satisfy
them. I then repeated my usual prayer deep down in my heart: “O
my God, it is for love of You, in reparation for the sins committed
against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the conversion of sin-
ners, and for the Holy Father!”

17. Questioned by Priests

In the account I have written about my cousin, I have already

told Your Excellency how two holy priests came and spoke to us
about His Holiness, and told us of his great need of prayers. From

that time on, there was not a prayer or sacrifice that we offered to
God which did not include an invocation for His Holiness. We grew
to love the Holy Father so deeply, that when the parish priest told
my mother that I would probably have to go to Rome to be interrog-
ated by His Holiness, I clapped my hands with joy and said to my
cousins: “Won’t it be wonderful if I can go and see the Holy Father!”
They burst into tears and said: “We can’t go, but we can offer this
sacrifice for him.”
The parish priest questioned me for the last time 24. The events
had duly come to an end at the appointed time, and still His Rever-
ence did not know what to say about the whole affair. He was also
beginning to show his displeasure. “Why are all those people go-
ing to prostrate themselves in prayer in a deserted spot like that,
while here the Living God of our altars, in the Blessed Sacrament,
is left all alone, abandoned, in the tabernacle? What’s all that money
for, the money they leave for no purpose whatsoever under that
holmoak, while the church, which is under repairs, cannot be com-
pleted for lack of funds? 25
I understood perfectly why he spoke like that, but what could I
do! If I had been given authority over the hearts of those people, I
would certainly have led them to the parish church, but as I had
not, I offered to God yet another sacrifice.
As Jacinta was in the habit of putting her head down, keeping
her eyes fixed on the ground and scarcely uttering a word during
the interrogations, I was usually called upon to satisfy the curiosity
of the pilgrims. For that reason, I was continually being summoned
to the house of the parish priest. On one occasion, a priest from
Torres Novas came to question me 26. When he did so, he went into
such minute details, and tried so hard to trip me up, that afterwards
I felt some scruples about having concealed certain things from
him. I consulted my cousins on the matter:

We are in possession of the parish priest’s valuable report; the same events
were brought up during every interrogation.
The documents of the period show that one reason for the priest’s depar-
ture was the difficulty he had to face in connection with the restoration of the
church building.
Canon Ferreira, priest of Torres Novas at the time, confessed one day that
he was one of those troublesome interrogators.

“ I don’t know,” I asked them, “ if we are doing wrong by not
telling everything, when they ask us if Our Lady told us anything
else. When we just say that she told us a secret, I don’t know whether
we are Iying or not, by saying nothing about the rest.”
“ I don’t know,” replied Jacinta, “that’s up to you! You’re the one
who does not want us to say anything.”
“ Of course I don’t want you to say anything,” I answered. “Why,
they’ll start asking us what sort of mortifications we are practising!
And that would be the last straw! Listen! If you had kept quiet, and
not said a word, nobody would have known by now that we saw
Our Lady, or spoke to her, or to the Angel; and nobody needed to
know it anyway!”
The poor child had no sooner heard my arguments than she
started to cry. Just as she did in May, she asked my forgiveness in
the way I have already described in my account of her life. So I
was left with my scruple, and had no idea as to how I was to re-
solve my doubt.
A little while later, another priest appeared; he was from
Santarém. He looked like a brother of the first I’ve just spoken of,
or at least they seemed to have rehearsed things together: asking
the same questions, making the same attempts to trip me up,
laughing and making fun of me in the same way; in fact their
very height and features were almost identical. After this inter-
rogation, my doubt was stronger than ever, and I really did not
know what course of action to follow. I constantly pleaded with
Our Lord and Our Lady to tell me what to do. “O my God, and my
dearest Mother in Heaven, you know that I do not want to offend
you by telling lies; but you are well aware that it would not be right
to tell them all that you told me!”
In the midst of this perplexity, I had the happiness of speaking
to the Vicar of Olival 27. I do not know why, but His Reverence in-
spired me with confidence, and I confided my doubt to him. I have
already explained, in my account of Jacinta, how he taught us to
keep our secret. He also gave us some further instructions on the
spiritual life. Above all, he taught us to give pleasure to Our Lord in
everything, and how to offer Him countless little sacrifices. “If you
feel like eating something, my children,” he would say, “leave it,

This was Father Faustino.

and eat something else instead; and thus offer a sacrifice to God. If
you feel inclined to play, do not do so, and offer to God another
sacrifice. If people question you, and you cannot avoid answering
them, it is God who wills it so: offer Him this sacrifice too.”
This holy priest spoke a language that I could really understand,
and I loved him dearly. From then on, he never lost sight of my soul.
Now and then, he called in to see me, or kept in touch with me
through a pious widow called Senhora Emilia 28 who lived in a little
hamlet near Olival. She was very devout, and often went to pray at
the Cova da Iria. After that, she used to come to our house and ask
to let me go and spend a few days with her. Then we paid a visit to
the Reverend Vicar, who was kind enough to invite me to remain
for two or three days as company for one of his sisters. At such
times, he was patient enough to spend whole hours alone with me,
teaching me the practice of virtue and guiding me with his own
wise counsels. Even though at that time I did not understand any-
thing about spiritual direction, I can truly say that he was my first
spiritual director. I cherish, therefore, grateful and holy memories
of this saintly priest.


1. Lucia Goes to School

Oh dear, here I am writing without rhyme or reason, as we say,

and already leaving out various things that I should have said! But
I am doing as Your Excellency told me: writing just what I remem-
ber and in all simplicity. That is what I want to do, without worrying
about order or style. In that way, I think my obedience is more per-
fect, and therefore, more pleasing to Our Lord and to the Immacu-
late Heart of Mary.
I will go back, then, to my parents’ home. I have told Your Ex-
cellency that my mother had to sell our flock. We kept only three
sheep, which we took along with us when we went to the fields.
Whenever we stayed at home, we kept them in the pen and fed

The place is called Soutaria. Senhora Emilia’s house was rebuilt as a chapel.

them there. My mother then sent me to school, and in my free time,
she wanted me to learn weaving and sewing. In this way, she had
me safe in the house, and didn’t have to waste any time looking for
me. One fine day, my sisters were asked to go with some other
girls to help with the vintage on the property of a wealthy man of Pé
de Cão 29. My mother decided to let them go, as long as I could go
too. I have already said earlier on, that my mother never allowed
them to go anywhere, unless they took me with them.

2. Lucia and the Parish Priest

At that time also, the parish priest began preparing the chil-
dren for a solemn Communion. Since the age of six, I had repeated
my solemn Communion every year, but this year my mother de-
cided I would not do so. For this reason, I did not attend the Cat-
echism classes. After school, the other children went to the parish
priest’s verandah, while I went home to get on with my sewing or
weaving. The good priest did not take kindly to my absence from
the Catechism classes. One day, on my way home from school, his
sister sent another child after me. She caught up with me on the
road to Aljustrel, near the house of a poor man who was nicknamed
‘Snail’. She told me that the parish priest’s sister wanted me, and
that I was to go straight back.
Thinking that I was just wanted for questioning, I excused my-
self, saying that my mother had told me to go home right after
school. Without further ado, I took to my heels across the fields like
a mad thing, in search of a hiding place where no one could find
me. But this time, the prank cost me dear. Some days later, there
was a big feast in the parish, and several priests came from all
around to sing the Mass. When it was over, the parish priest sent
for me, and in front of all those priests, reprimanded me severely
for not attending the Catechism lessons, and for not running back
to his sister when she had sent for me. In short, all my faults and
failings were brought to light, and the sermon went on for quite a
long while.

This property near Torres Novas belonged to the engineer, Mário Godinho.
On July 13th, 1917, he himself took the first photograph of the children
which we have in our possession.

At last, though I don’t know how, a holy priest appeared on the
scene, and sought to plead my cause. He tried to excuse me, say-
ing that perhaps my mother had not given me permission. But the
good priest replied: “Her mother! Why, she’s a saint! But as for this
one, it remains to be seen what she’ll turn out to be!”
The good priest, who later became Vicar of Torres Novas, then
asked me very kindly why I had not been to the catechism classes.
I therefore told him of my mother’s decision. His Reverence did not
seem to believe me, and sent for my sister Gloria who was over by
the church, to find out the truth of the matter. Having found that
indeed things were just as I had said, he came to this conclusion:
“Well then! Either the child is going to attend the catechism classes
for the days still remaining, and afterwards come to me for confes-
sion, and then make her solemn Communion with all the rest of
the children, or she’s never going to receive Communion again in
this parish!”
When my sister heard this proposal, she pointed out that I was
due to leave with my sisters five days beforehand, and such an
arrangement would be most inconvenient. She added that, if His
Reverence so desired, I could go to Confession and Communion
some other day before we left. The good priest paid no attention to
her request, and stood firm by his decision.
When we reached home, we told my mother all about it. She
also went to the Reverend Father to ask him to hear my confes-
sion and give me Holy Communion on another day. But it was all in
vain. My mother then decided that, after the solemn Communion
day, my brother would make the journey with me, in spite of the
long distance and the difficulties caused by the extremely bad roads,
winding up and down the hills and highlands. I think I must have
sweated ink at the mere idea of having to go to confession to the
parish priest! I was so upset that I cried.
On the day before the solemn Communion, His Reverence
sent for all the children to go to church in the afternoon to make
their confession. As I went, anguish gripped my heart as in a vice.
As I entered the church, I saw that there were several priests hear-
ing confessions. There at the end of the church was Reverend
Father Cruz from Lisbon. I had spoken to His Reverence before
and I liked him very much indeed.

Without noticing that the parish priest was in an open confes-
sional halfway up the church, I thought to myself: “First, I’ll go and
make my confession to Father Cruz and ask him what I am to do,
and then l’ll go to the parish priest.” Dr. Cruz received me with the
greatest kindness. After hearing my confession, he gave me some
advice, telling me that if I did not want to go to the parish priest, I
should not do so; and that he could not refuse me Communion for
something like that. I was radiant with joy on hearing this advice
and said my penance. Then I made good my escape from the
church, for fear lest somebody might call me back. Next day, I went
to the church all dressed in white, still afraid that I might be refused
Communion. But His Reverence contented himself with letting me
know, when the feast was over, that my lack of obedience in going
to confession to another priest had not passed unnoticed.
The good priest grew more and more displeased and perplexed
conceming these events until, one day, he left the parish. The news
then went round that His Reverence had left on account of me 30,
because he did not want to assume responsibility for these events.
He was a zealous priest and much beloved among the people, and
so I had much to suffer as a result. Several pious women, when-
ever they met me, gave vent to their displeasure by insulting me;
and sometimes sent me on my way with a couple of blows or kicks.

3. Companions in Sympathy and in Sacriflce

These heaven-sent ‘caresses’ were rarely meted out to Jacinta

and Francisco, for their parents would not allow anyone to lay hands
on them. But they suffered when they saw me suffering, and many
a time tears ran down their cheeks whenever they saw me dis-
tressed or humiliated.
One day, Jacinta said to me: “lf only my parents were like yours,
so that those people would beat me too, then I’d have more sacri-
fices to offer Our Lord.” However, she knew how to make the most
of opportunities for mortifying herself. Occasionally also, we were
in the habit of offering to God the sacrifice of spending nine days or
a month without taking a drink. Once, we made this sacrifice even

This was certainly not the reason. It was rather the difficulties the priest had
with the members of his parish on account of the rebuilding of the church.

in the month of August, when the heat was suffocating. As we were
returning, one day, from the Cova da Iria where we had been pray-
ing our Rosary, we came to a pond beside the road, and Jacinta
said to me:
“Oh I’m so thirsty, and my head aches so! I’m going to drink a
little drop of this water.”
“Not that water,” I answered. “My mother doesn’t want us to
drink it, because it’s not good for us. We’ll go and ask Maria dos
Anjos for some.” (She was a neighbour of ours, who had recently
married and was living near there in a small house).
“No! I don’t want good water. I’d rather drink this, because in-
stead of offering Our Lord our thirst, I could offer Him the sacrifice
of drinking this dirty water.”
As a matter of fact, this water was filthy. People washed their
clothes in it, and the animals came there to drink and waded right
into it. That was why my mother warned her children not to drink
this water.
At other times, Jacinta would say:
“Our Lord must be pleased with our sacrifices, because I am
so thirsty, so thirsty! Yet I do not want to take a drink. I want to suffer
for love of Him.”
One day, we were sitting in the doorway of my uncle’s house,
when we noticed several people approaching. Not having time to
do anything else, Francisco and I ran inside to hide under the beds,
he in one room and I in another. Jacinta said: “I’m not going to hide.
I’m going to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord.”
These people came up and talked to her, waiting around quite
a long time until I could be found. Finally, they went away. I slipped
out of my hiding-place and asked Jacinta:
“What did you answer when they asked if you knew where we
“ I said nothing at all. I put my head down, kept my eyes fixed
on the ground, and said nothing. I always do that, when I don’t
want to tell the truth, and I don’t want to tell a lie either, because
Iying is a sin.”
She was indeed accustomed to do just this, and it was use-
less to question her, for those who did so obtained no response
whatsoever. If escape were at all possible, we normally felt little
inclined to offer this kind of sacrifice.

Another day, we were sitting in the shade of two fig trees over-
hanging the road that runs by my cousins’ house. Francisco began
to play a little way off. He saw several ladies coming towards us and
ran back to warn us. We promptly climbed up the fig trees. In those
days it was the fashion to wear hats with brims as wide as a sieve,
and we were sure that with such headgear, those people would
never catch sight of us up there. As soon as the ladies had gone by,
we came down as fast as we could, took to our heels and hid in a
This habit we had of making good our escape, whenever pos-
sible, was yet another cause for complaint on the part of the parish
priest. He bitterly complained of the way we tried to avoid priests in
particular. His Reverence was cerlainly right. It was priests espe-
cially who put us through the most rigorous cross-examinations,
and then returned to question us all over again. Whenever we found
ourselves in the presence of a priest, we prepared to offer to God
one of our greatest sacrifices!

4. Government Opposition

Meanwhile, the Govemment showed disapproval of the way

affairs were progressing. At the place of the Apparitions some peo-
ple had erected poles to form an arch, hung with lanterns which
they were careful to keep always burning. One night orders were
given for some men to pull down these poles, and also cut down
the holmoak on which the Apparitions had taken place, and drag it
away with them behind a car. In the morning, news of what had
happened spread like wildfire. I ran to the place to see if it were
true. But what was my delight to find that the poor men had made a
mistake, and that instead of cutting down the holmoak, they had
carried off one of the others growing nearby! I then asked Our Lady
to forgive these poor men and I prayed for their conversion.
Some time later, on the 13th of May, I don’t remember whether
it was in 1918 or 1919 31, news went round at dawn that cavalrymen
were in Fatima to prevent the people from going to the Cova da Iria.

The date in question is the 13th of May, 1920. These are dates which Lucia
could not identify herself.

Everybody was alarmed, and came to give me the news, assuring
me that without any doubt this was to be the last day of my life.
Without taking this news too seriously, I set out for the church. When
I reached Fatima, I passed between the horses which were all over
the church grounds, and went into the church. I heard a Mass cel-
ebrated by a priest I did not know, received Holy Communion, made
my thanksgiving, and went back home without anyone saying a
single word to me. I don’t know whether it was because they did
not see me, or that they did not think me worthy of notice.
News kept coming in that the troops were trying in vain to keep
people away from the Cova da Iria. In spite of this, I went there, too,
to recite the Rosary. On the way I was joined by a group of women
who had come from a distance. As we drew near the place, two
cavalrymen gave their horses a smart crack of the whip and ad-
vanced at full speed towards the group. They pulled up beside us
and asked where we were going. The women boldly replied that “it
was none of their business”. They whipped the horses again, as
though they meant to charge forward and trample us all underfoot.
The women ran in all directions and, a moment later, I found myself
alone with the two cavalrymen. They then asked me my name, and
I gave it without hesitation. They next asked if I were the seer, and
I said I was. They ordered me to step out on to the middle of the
road between the two horses, and proceed in the direction of
As we reached the pond I spoke of earlier, a poor woman who
lived there and whom I have also mentioned, seeing me coming in
the distance between the two horses, ran out, as I approached,
into the middle of the road, like another Veronica. The soldiers lost
no time in getting her out of the way, and the poor woman burst into
a flood of tears, loudly bewailing my misfortune. A few paces fur-
ther on, they stopped and asked me if the woman was my mother.
I said she was not. They did not believe me, and asked if that house
was my home. I again said “No”. Still apparently not believing me,
they ordered me to walk a little ahead until I arrived at my parent’s
When we reached a plot of ground that lies on the outskirts of
Aljustrel, where there was a small spring, and some trenches dug
for planting vines, they called a halt, and said to one another, prob-
ably in order to frighten me:

“Here are some open trenches. Let’s cut off her head with one
of our swords, and leave her here dead and buried. Then we’ll be
finished with this business once and for all.”
When I heard these words, I thought that my last moment had
really come, but I was as much at peace as if it did not concern me
at all. After a minute or two during which they seemed to be think-
ing it over, the other replied:
“No, we have no authority to do such a thing.”
They ordered me to keep on going. So I went straight through
our little village, until I arrived at my parents’ house. All the neigh-
bours were at the windows and doors of their houses to see what
was going on. Some were laughing and making fun of me, others
lamenting my sorry plight. When we reached my home, they or-
dered me to call my parents, but they were not at home. One of
them dismounted and went to see if my parents were hiding inside.
He searched the house, but found no one; whereupon he gave
orders for me to stay indoors for the rest of the day. Then he mounted
his horse and they both rode off.
Late in the afternoon, news went round that the troops had
withdrawn, defeated by the people. At sunset, I was praying my
Rosary in the Cova da Iria, accompanied by hundreds of people.
While I was under arrest, according to what we heard later, some
persons went to tell my mother what was happening, and she re-
plied: “If it’s true that she saw Our Lady, Our Lady will defend her,
and if she’s Iying, it will serve her right to be punished.” And she
remained in peace as before. Now, some one will ask me: “And
where were your little companions, while this was going on?” I don’t
know. I can recall nothing at all of their whereabouts at that time.
Perhaps, in view of the news that got abroad, their parents did not
allow them to leave the house at all that day.

5. Lucia’s Mother Falls Seriously Ill

Such suffering on my part must have been pleasing to Our

Lord, because He was about to prepare a most bitter chalice for
me which He was soon to give me to drink. My mother fell so seri-
ously ill that, at one stage, we thought she was dying. All her chil-
dren gathered around her bed to receive her last blessing, and to
kiss the hand of their dying mother. As I was the youngest, my turn

came last. When my poor mother saw me, she brightened a little,
flung her arms around my neck and, with a deep sigh, exclaimed:
“My poor daughter, what will become of you without your mother! I
am dying with my heart pierced through because of you.” Then,
bursting into tears and sobbing bitterly, she clasped me more and
more tightly in her arms.
My eldest sister forcibly pulled me away from my mother, took
me to the kitchen and forbade me to go back to the sick room,
saying: “Mother is going to die of grief because of all the trouble
you’ve given her!” I knelt down, put my head on a bench, and in a
distress more bitter than any I had ever known before, I made the
offering of my sacrifice to our dear Lord. A few minutes later, my
two older sisters, thinking the case was hopeless, came to me and
said: “Lucia! If it is true that you saw Our Lady, go right now to the
Cova da Iria, and ask her to cure our mother. Promise her what-
ever you wish and we’ll do it; and then we’ll believe.”
Without losing a moment, I set out. So as not to be seen, I
made my way across the fields along some bypaths, reciting the
Rosary all the way. Once there, I placed my request before Our
Lady and unburdened myself of all my sorrow, shedding copious
tears. I then went home, comforted by the hope that my beloved
Mother in heaven would hear my prayer and restore health to my
mother on earth. When I reached home, my mother was already
feeling somewhat better. Three days later, she was able to resume
her work around the house.
I had promised the most Blessed Virgin that, if she granted me
what I asked, I would go there for nine days in succession, to-
gether with my sisters, pray the Rosary and go on our knees from
the roadway to the holmoak tree; and on the ninth day we would
take nine poor children with us, and afterwards give them a meal.
We went, then, to fulfil my promise, and my mother came with us.
“How strange!”, she said. “Our Lady cured me, and somehow
I still don’t believe! I don’t know how this can be!”

6. Lucia’s Father Dies

Our good Lord gave me this consolation, but once again He

came knocking on my door to ask yet another sacrifice, and not a
small one either. My father was a healthy man, and robust; he said

he had never known what it was to have a headache. But, in less
than twenty-four hours, an attack of double pneumonia carried him
off into eternity 32. My sorrow was so great that I thought I would die
as well. He was the only one who never failed to show himself to be
my friend, and the only one who defended me when disputes arose
at home on account of me.
“My God! My God!” I exclaimed in the privacy of my room. “I
never thought You had so much suffering in store for me! But I
suffer for love of You, in reparation for the sins committed against
the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Holy Father and for the con-
version of sinners.”

7. Serious Illness of Lucia’s Cousins

Around that time, Jacinta and Francisco also began to grow

worse 33, Jacinta used to tell me sometimes:
“My chest hurts so much, but I’m not saying anything to my
mother! I want to suffer for Our Lord, in reparation for the sins com-
mitted against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Holy Father
and for the conversion of sinners.” One morning, when I went to
see her, she asked me:
“How many sacrifices did you offer to Our Lord last night?”
“Three. I got up three times to recite the Angel’s prayers.”
“Well, I offered Him many, many sacrifices. I don’t know how
many there were, but I had a lot of pain, and I made no complaint.”
Francisco spoke very little. He usually did everything he saw
us doing, and rarely suggested anything himself. During his illness,
he suffered with heroic patience, without ever letting the slightest
moan or the least complaint escape his lips. One day, shortly be-
fore his death, I asked him:
“Are you suffering a lot, Francisco?”
“Yes, but I suffer it all for love of Our Lord and Our Lady.”
One day, he gave me the rope that I have already spoken about,

Lucia’s father died on the 31st of July, 1919.
Francisco and Jacinta fell ill almost simultaneously, namely towards the end
of October, 1918.

“Take it away before my mother sees it. I don’t feel able to wear
it any more around my waist.”
He took everything his mother offered him, and she could never
discover which things he disliked. He went on like this until the day
came for him to go to heaven 34. The day before his death, he said
to Jacinta and myself:
“ I am going to heaven, but when I’m there, I will pray a great
deal to Our Lord and Our Lady, asking them to bring you there, too,
very soon.”
I think I have already described, in my account of Jacinta, what
suffering this separation caused us. For this reason, I do not repeat
it here. Jacinta was already very sick, and was gradually growing
worse. There is no need to describe it now, as I have already done
so. I shall simply relate one or two acts of virtue, which I saw her
practise, and which I do not think I have described before.
Her mother knew how hard it was for her to take milk. So, one
day, she brought her a fine bunch of grapes with her cup of milk,
“Jacinta, take this. If you can’t take the milk, leave it there, and
eat the grapes.”
“No, mother, I don’t want the grapes; take them away, and give
me the milk instead. I’ll take that.” Then, without showing the least
sign of repugnance, she took it. My aunt went happily away, think-
ing her little girl’s appetite was returning. She had no sooner gone
than Jacinta turned to me and said:
“ I had such a longing for those grapes and it was so hard to
drink the milk! But I wanted to offer this sacrifice to Our Lord.”
One morning, I found her looking dreadful, and I asked her if
she felt worse.
“Last night,” she answered, “ I had so much pain, and I wanted
to offer Our Lord the sacrifice of not turning over in bed; therefore I
didn't sleep at all.”
On another occasion, she told me:
“ When I’m alone, I get out of bed to recite the Angel’s prayer.
But now I’m not able to touch the ground any more with my head,
because I fall over; so I only pray on my knees.”

Francisco died on the 4th of April, 1919.

One day, I had the opportunity of speaking to the Vicar. His
Reverence asked me about Jacinta and how she was. I told him
what I thought about her condition, and afterwards related what
she had said to me about being unable to touch the ground when
she prayed. His Reverence sent me to tell her that she was not to
get out of bed in order to pray, but that she was to pray Iying down,
and then only as long as she could do so without getting tired. I
delivered the message at the very first opportunity.
“And will Our Lord be pleased?” she asked.
“He is pleased,” I replied. “Our Lord wants us to do whatever
the Reverend Vicar says.”
“That’s alright, then. I won’t get up any more.” Whenever I could,
I loved to go to the Cabeço to pray in our favourite cave. Jacinta
was very fond of flowers, and coming down the hillside on the way
home, I used to pick a bunch of irises and peonies, when there
were any to be found, and take them to her, saying:
“Look! These are from the Cabeço!” She would take them ea-
gerly, and sometimes, with tears running down her cheeks, she
would say:
“To think I’ll never go there again! Nor to Valinhos, nor Cova da
Iria! I miss them all so much!”
“But what does it matter, if you’re going to heaven to see Our
Lord and Our Lady?”
“That’s true,” she replied.
Then she lay there contentedly, plucking off the petals and
counting them one by one.
A few days after falling ill, she gave me the rope she had been
wearing, and said:
“Keep it for me; I’m afraid my mother may see it. If I get better,
I want it back again!”
This cord had three knots, and was somewhat stained with
blood. I kept it hidden until I finally left my mother’s home. Then, not
knowing what to do with it, I burned it, and Francisco’s as well.

8. Lucia in Poor Health

Several people who came from a distance to see us, noticing

that I looked very pale and anaemic, asked my mother to let me go
and spend a few days in their homes, saying the change of air

would do me good. With this end in view, my mother gave her con-
sent, and they took me with them, now to one place, now to another.
When away from home like this, I did not always meet with
esteem and affection. While there were some who admired me
and considered me a saint, there were always others who heaped
abuse upon me and called me a hypocrite, a visionary and a sor-
ceress. This was the good Lord’s way of throwing salt into the wa-
ter to prevent it from going bad. Thanks to this Divine Providence, I
went through the fire without being burned, or without becoming
acquainted with the little worm of vanity which has the habit of
gnawing its way into everything. On such occasions, I used to think
to myself: “They are all mistaken. I’m not a saint, as some say, and
I’m not a liar either, as others say. Only God knows what I am.”
When I got home, I would run to see Jacinta, who said:
“Listen! Don’t go away again. I have been so lonely for you!
Since you went away, I have not spoken to anyone. I don’t know
how to talk to other people.”
The time finally came for Jacinta to leave for Lisbon. I have
already described our leave-taking, and therefore I won’t repeat it
here. How sad I was to find myself alone! In such a short space of
time, our dear Lord had taken to heaven my beloved father, and
then Francisco; and now He was taking Jacinta, whom I was never
to see again in this world. As soon as I could, I slipped away to the
Cabeço, and hid within our cave among the rocks. There, alone
with God, I poured forth my grief and shed tears in abundance.
Coming back down the slope, everything reminded me of my dear
companions; the stones on which we had so often sat, the flowers
I no longer picked, not having anyone to take them to; Valinhos,
where the three of us had enjoyed the delights of paradise! As
though I had lost all sense of reality, and still half abstracted, I went
into my aunt’s house one day and made for Jacinta’s room, calling
out to her. Her sister Teresa, seeing me like that, barred the way,
and reminded me that Jacinta was no longer there!
Shortly afterwards, news arrived that she had taken flight to
Heaven 35. Her body was then brought back to Vila Nova de Ourém.
My aunt took me there one day to pray beside the mortal remains

Jacinta died on the 20th of February, 1920.

of her little daughter, in the hope of thus distracting me. But for a
long time after, my sorrow seemed only to grow ever greater. When-
ever I found the cemetery open, I went and sat by Francisco’s grave,
or beside my father’s, and there I spent long hours.
My mother, thank God, decided some time after this to go to
Lisbon, and to take me with her 36. Through the kindness of Dr.
Formigão, a good lady received us into her house, and offered to
pay for my education in a boarding-school, if I was willing to re-
main. My mother and I gratefully accepted the generous offer of
this charitable lady, whose name was Dona Assunção Avelar. My
mother, after consulting the doctors, found that she needed an
operation for kidneys and spinal column, but the doctors would not
be responsible for her life, since she also suffered from a cardiac
lesion. She therefore went home, leaving me in the care of this
lady. When everything was ready, and the day arranged for my
entering the boarding school, I was informed that the Government
was aware that I was in Lisbon, and was seeking my where-abouts.
They, therefore, took me to Santarém to Dr. Formigão’s house, and
for some days I remained hidden, without even being allowed out
to Mass.
Finally, His Reverence’s sister arrived to take me home to my
mother, promising to arrange for my admittance to a boarding school
that the Dorothean Sisters had in Spain, and assuring us that as
soon as everything was settled, she would come and fetch me. All
these happenings distracted me somewhat, and so the oppressive
sadness began to disappear.

9. Lucia’s First Meeting with the Bishop

It was about this time that Your Excellency was installed as

Bishop of Leiria, and our dear Lord confided to your care this poor
flock that had been for so many years without a shepherd 37. There
were not wanting people who tried to frighten me about Your Excel-

Lucia was in Lisbon from the 7th of July to the 6th of August. After that, she
went to Santarém, and from there she returned to Aljustrel on the 12th of
The new Bishop came to the Diocese on the 5th of August, 1920.

lency’s arrival, just as they had done before about another holy
priest. They told me that Your Excellency knew everything, that you
could read hearts and penetrate the depths of consciences, and
that now you were going to discover all my deception. Far from
frightening me, it made me earnestly desire to speak to you, and I
thought to myself: “lf it’s true that he knows everything, he will know
that I am speaking the truth.” For this reason, as soon as a kind
lady from Leiria offered to take me to see Your Excellency, I ac-
cepted her suggestion with joy. There was I, full of hope, in expec-
tation of this happy moment. At last the day came, and the lady and
I went to the Palace. We were invited to enter, and shown to a
room, where we were asked to wait for a little while.
A few moments later, Your Excellency’s Secretary came in 38,
and spoke kindly with Dona Gilda who accompanied me. From time
to time, he asked me some questions. As I had already been twice
to confession to His Reverence, I already knew him, and it was
therefore a pleasure to talk to him. A little later, Rev. Dr. Marques
dos Santos 39 came in, wearing shoes with buckles, and wrapped
in a great big cloak. As it was the first time that I had seen a priest
dressed like this, it caught my attention.
He then embarked on a whole repertoire of questions that
seemed unending. Now and again, he laughed, as though making
fun of my replies, and it seemed as if the moment when I could
speak to Your Excellency would never come. At last, your Secre-
tary returned to speak to the lady who was with me. He told her
that when Your Excellency arrived, she was to make her apologies
and take her leave, saying that she had to go elsewhere, since
Your Excellency might wish to speak to me in private. I was de-
lighted when I heard this message, and I thought to myself: As His
Excellency knows everything, he won’t ask me many questions,
and he will be alone with me. What a blessing!
When Your Excellency arrived, the good lady played her part
very well, and so I had the happiness of speaking with you alone. I
am not going to describe now what happened during this inter-
view, because Your Excellency certainly remembers it better than I

Fr. Augusto Maia, died 1959.
Msgr. Manuel Marques dos Santos, 1892-1971.

do. To tell the truth, when I saw Your Excellency receive me with
such kindness, without in the least attempting to ask me any use-
less or curious questions, being concerned solely for the good of
my soul, and only too willing to take care of this poor little lamb that
the Lord had just entrusted to you, then I was more convinced than
ever that Your Excellency did indeed know everything; and I did not
hesitate for a moment to give myself completely into your hands.
Thereupon, Your Excellency imposed certain conditions which,
because of my nature, I found very easy: that is, to keep com-
pletely secret all that Your Excellency had said to me, and to be
good. I kept my secret to myself, until the day when Your Excel-
lency asked my mother’s consent.

10. Farewell to Fatima

Finally, the day of my departure was settled. The evening be-

fore, I went to bid farewell to all the familiar places so dear to us. My
heart was torn with loneliness and longing, for I was sure I would
never set foot again on the Cabeço, the Rock, Valinhos, or in the
parish church where our dear Lord had begun His work of mercy,
and the cemetery, where rested the mortal remains of my beloved
father and of Francisco, whom I could still never forget. I said good-
bye to our well, already illumined by the pale rays of the moon, and
to the old threshing-floor where I had so often spent long hours
contemplating the beauty of the starlit heavens, and the wonders
of sunrise and sunset which so enraptured me. I loved to watch the
rays of the sun reflected in the dew drops, so that the mountains
seemed covered with pearls in the morning sunshine; and in the
evening, after a snowfall, to see the snowflakes sparkling on the
pine trees was like a foretaste of the beauties of paradise.
Without saying farewell to anyone, I left the next day 40 at two
o’clock in the morning, accompanied by my mother and a poor
labourer called Manuel Correia, who was going to Leiria. I carried
my secret with me, inviolate. We went by way of the Cova da Iria,
so that I could bid it my last farewell. There, for the last time, I prayed

Lucia left Aljustrel in the early morning of June 16th, 1921, and reached
Leiria some hours later. From there, she travelled to the College at Porto,
where she arrived the following morning.

my Rosary. As long as this place was still in sight, I kept turning
round to say a last goodbye. We arrived at Leiria at nine o’clock in
the morning. There I met Dona Filomena Miranda, whom Your Ex-
cellency had charged to accompany me. This lady was later to be
my godmother at Confirmation. The train left at two o’clock in the
afternoon, and there I was at the station, giving my poor mother a
last embrace, Ieaving her overwhelmed with sorrow and shedding
abundant tears. The train moved out, and with it went my poor heart
plunged in an ocean of loneliness and filled with memories that I
could never forget.


I think, Your Excellency, that I have just picked the most beau-
tiful flower and the most delicious fruit from my little garden, and I
now place it in the merciful hands of the good Lord, whom you
represent, praying that He will make it yield a plentiful harvest of
souls for eternal life. And since our dear Lord takes pleasure in the
humble obedience of the least of His creatures, I end with the words
of her whom He, in His infinite mercy, has given me as Mother,
Protectress and Model, the very same words with which I began:
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord! May He continue to make use
of her, as He thinks best.”

1. Further Memories of Jacinta

P. S. – I forgot to say that when Jacinta went to hospital in Vila

Nova de Ourém and again in Lisbon, she knew she was not going
to be cured, but only to suffer. Long before anybody spoke to her of
the possibility of her entering the hospital of Vila Nova de Ourém,
she said one day:
“Our Lady wants me to go to two hospitals, not to be cured,
but to suffer more for love of Our Lord and for sinners.”
I do not know Our Lady’s exact words in these apparitions to
Jacinta alone, for I never asked her what they were. I confined myself
to merely listening to what she occasionally confided to me. In this
account, I have tried not to repeat what I have written in the previ-
ous one, so as not to make it too long.

2. Lucia’s Magnetic Personality

It may seem perhaps from this account that, in my village, no-

body showed me any love or tenderness. But this is not so. There
was a dear chosen portion of the Lord’s flock, who showed me
singular affection. These were the little children. They ran up to me,
bubbling over with joy, and when they knew I was pasturing my
sheep in the neighbourhood of our little village, whole groups of
them used to come and spend the day with me. My mother used to
“ I don’t know what attraction you have for children! They run
after you as if they were going to a feast!”
As for myself, I did not feel at ease in the midst of such merri-
ment, and for that reason, I tried to keep out of their way.
The same thing happened to me with my companions in Vilar;
and I would almost venture to say that it is happening to me now
with my Sisters in religion. A few years ago, I was told by my Mother
Mistress, who is now Rev. Mother Provincial:
“You have such an influence over the other Sisters that, if you
want to, you can do them a great deal of good.” 41
And quite recently, Rev. Mother Superior in Pontevedra 42 said
to me:
“To a certain degree, you are responsible to Our Lord for the
state of fervour or negligence in observance, on the part of the
other Sisters, because their fervour is increased or diminished at
recreation; whatever the others see you doing at that time, they do
as well. Certain topics you brought up at recreation helped other
Sisters to understand the Rule better and made them resolve to
observe it more faithfully.”
Why is this?
I don’t know. Perhaps it is a talent which the Lord has given
me, and for which He will hold me to account. Would that I knew
how to trade with it, that I might restore it to Him a thousandfold.

Madre Maria do Carmo Corte Real.
Madre Carmen Refojo, Mother Superior in Pontevedra, 1933-1939.

3. Lucia’s Excellent Memory

Maybe someone will want to ask: How can you remember all
this? How? I don’t know. Our dear Lord, Who shares out His gifts
as He thinks fit, has allotted to me this little portion – my memory.
He alone knows why. And besides, as far as I can see, there is this
difference between natural and supernatural things: “When we are
talking to a mere creature, even while we are speaking, we tend to
forget what is being said; whereas these supernatural things are
ever more deeply engraved on the soul, even as we are seeing
and hearing them, so that it is not easy to forget them.”


We have seen that the two previous Memoirs were written at the
suggestion of the Bishop of Leiria and Father Fonseca. This manuscript
also was written by Lucia, not on her own initiative but at the request of
another person. It happened like this. Two editions of the book “Jacinta”
were published, in May and October, 1938, respectively. But when the
Silver Jubilee Year of 1942 was drawing near, the publication of a new
edition was under consideration. It was felt that Lucia could also make a
valuable contribution to this third edition.
The Bishop, Dom José, informed Lucia that Dr. Galamba would
visit her, as he wanted to ask her further questions about Jacinta’s life.
Sister Lucia felt that it would be necessary to disclose the first two parts
of the secret of July, 1917, in order to describe the inner life of Jacinta.
Therefore, she deemed it essential to make a report on these two parts
of the secret, before she could complete her account of Jacinta.
Rev. Dr. Galamba did not meet Lucia on this occasion. She had,
however, been thinking about this matter already, as early as the end of
the previous July, when the Bishop requested her to write this account.
She completed the writing on the 31st ot August, and it was sent to the
Bishop of Leiria without delay. What Sister Lucia says in the foreword to
this account may well be supplemented by the following, which she wrote
in her letter to Father Gonçalves:
“His Excellency the Bishop wrote to me about a forthcoming inter-
rogation by Dr. Galamba. He requested me to recall everything I could
remember in connection with Jacinta, as a new edition of her life is about
to be printed. This request penetrated to the depths of my soul like a ray
of light, giving me to know that the time has come to reveal the first two
parts of the secret, and thus add two chapters to the new edition: one
about hell, and the other about the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But I am
still in doubt, since I am reluctant to reveal the secret. The account has
already been completed, but I hesitate as to whether I should send it off
or throw it into the fire. I do not know yet what I am going to do.”
The spirit in which Sister Lucia wrote down these reminiscences is
the same as in the previous ones: a strong dislike on the one hand, and
on the other, a complete obedience which is certain that this is “for the
glory of God and for the salvation of souls.”


J. M. J.
Your Excellency.
In obedience to the order which Your Excellency gave me in
your letter of July 26th, 1941, that I should think over and note
down anything else I could remember about Jacinta, I have given
thought to the matter and decided that, as God was speaking to
me through you, the moment has arrived to reply to two questions
which have often been sent to me, but which I have put off answer-
ing until now.
In my opinion, it would be pleasing to God and to the Immacu-
late Heart of Mary that, in the book “Jacinta”, one chapter would be
devoted to the subject of hell, and another to the Immaculate Heart
of Mary 1. Your Excellency will indeed find this opinion rather strange
and perhaps inopportune, but it is not my own idea. God Himself
will make clear to you that this is a matter that pertains to His glory
and to the good of souls.
This will entail my speaking about the secret, and thus an-
swering the first question.

1. What is the Secret?

What is the secret?

It seems to me that I can reveal it, since I already have permis-
sion from Heaven to do so. God’s representatives on earth have
authorized me to do this several times and in various letters, one of
which, I believe, is in your keeping. This letter is from Rev. Fr. José
Bernardo Gonçalves 2, and in it he advises me to write to the Holy
Father 3, suggesting, among other things, that I should reveal the
secret. I did say something about it. But in order not to make my
letter too long, since I was told to keep it short, I confined myself to
the essentials, leaving it to God to provide another more favour-
able opportunity.
These chapters were in fact published, not in the second edition (October
1938), but in the third edition (October 1942).
Fr. José Bernardo Gonçalves was one of her spiritual directors, died 1966.
The letter to Pope Pius Xll was dispatched on December 2nd, 1940.

In my second account. I have already described in detail the
doubt which tormented me from June 13th until July 13th, and how
it disappeared completely during the Apparition on that day.

2. The Vision of Hell

Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which

I am now going to reveal 4.
The first part is the vision of hell 5.
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be
under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in
human form, Iike transparent burning embers, all blackened or
burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised
into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves to-
gether with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side
like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid
shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and
made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by
their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown an-
imals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant.
How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother,
who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition,
to take us to Heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear
and terror.
We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and
so sadly:
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To
save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my
Immaculate Heart 6. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be
saved and there will be peace. The war 7 is going to end: but if
people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out

It should be noted that it concerns one single secret consisting of three
parts. Here, Lucia describes the first two parts. The third, written on 3 Janu-
ary 1944, was published on 26 June 2000 (see Appendix III)
Lucia describes the vision of hell with great realism.
In the Message of Fatima, the great promise of the salvation of souls is very
often associated with the Immaculate Heart of Mary’s intercession.
This refers to the First World War, 1914-1918.

during the pontificate of Pius Xl 8. When you see a night illumined
by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign 9 given you by
God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of
war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
“To prevent this, I shall come 10 to ask for the consecration of
Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation
on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be
converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her er-
rors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the
Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much
to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Im-
maculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Rus-
sia to me 11, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will
be granted to the world 12.

3. Lasting Impression on Jacinta

Your Excellency, as I already told you in the notes I sent to you

after reading the book about Jacinta, some of the things revealed
in the secret made a very strong impression on her. This was in-

Lucia has again explicitly confirmed the name of Pope Pius Xl. To the
objection that the Second World War, 1939-1944, actually started during
the Pontificate of Pius Xll, she replied that in fact the war began with the
occupation of Austria in 1938.
Lucia presumed that the “extraordinary” aurora borealis during the night of
25th to 26th of January, 1938, was the sign given by God to announce the
imminence of war.
This 'promise' to come back was fulfilled by the Blessed Virgin on December
10th, 1925, when she appeared to Lucia at Pontevedra (see Appendix I).
On the 13th of June, 1929, Lucia had a further vision at Tuy, when Our Lady
asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
Sister Lucia affirms that the Consecration made by John Paul II, in union
with the Bishops, on 25 March 1984, corresponded to the request of Our
Lady and was accepted by Heaven. “Yes, it was done as Our Lady re-
quested, since 25 March 1984” (Letter of 8 November 1989 to the Holy
Father). Therefore, any discussion and further petition has no foundation
(see Appendix III).
This is an unconditional promise, one which will certainly be fulfilled. How-
ever, we do not know when it will come true.

deed the case. The vision of hell filled her with horror to such a
degree, that every penance and mortification was as nothing in
her eyes, if it could only prevent souls from going there.
Well, I am now going to answer the second question, one
which has come to me from various quarters.
How is it that Jacinta, small as she was, let herself be pos-
sessed by such a spirit of mortification and penance, and under-
stood it so well?
I think the reason is this: firstly, God willed to bestow on her a
special grace, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and sec-
ondly, it was because she had looked upon hell, and had seen the
ruin of souls who fall therein.
Some people, even the most devout, refuse to speak to chil-
dren about hell, in case it would frighten them. Yet God did not
hesitate to show hell to three children, one of whom was only six
years old, knowing well that they would be horrified to the point of,
I would almost dare to say, withering away with fear.
Jacinta often sat thoughffully on the ground or on a rock, and
“Oh, Hell! Hell! How sorry I am for the souls who go to hell!
And the people down there, burning alive, like wood in the fire!”
Then, shuddering, she knelt down with her hands joined, and re-
cited the prayer that Our Lady had taught us:
“ O my Jesus! Forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all
souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.”
Now Your Excellency will understand how my own impression
was that the final words of this prayer refer to souls in greatest
danger of damnation, or those who are nearest to it. Jacinta re-
mained on her knees like this for long periods of time, saying the
same prayer over and over again. From time to time, like someone
awaking from sleep, she called out to her brother or myself:
“Francisco! Francisco! Are you praying with me? We must pray
very much, to save souls from hell! So many go there! So many!”
At other times, she asked: «Why doesn’t Our Lady show hell to
sinners? If they saw it, they would not sin, so as to avoid going
there! You must tell Our Lady to show hell to all the people (refer-
ring to those who were in the Cova da Iria at the time of the Appa-
rition). You’ll see how they will be converted.”

Afterwards, unsatisfied, she asked me: “Why didn’t you tell
Our Lady to show hell to those people?”
“I forgot,” I answered.
“I didn’t remember either!” she said, looking very sad.
Sometimes, she also asked: “What are the sins people com-
mit, for which they go to hell?”
“ I don’t know! Perhaps the sin of not going to Mass on Sun-
day, of stealing, of saying ugly words, of cursing and of swearing.”
“So for just one word, then, people can go to hell?”
“Well, it’s a sin!”
“It wouldn’t be hard for them to keep quiet, and to go to Mass!
I’m so sorry for sinners! If only I could show them hell!”
Suddenly, she would seize hold of me and say:
“I’m going to Heaven, but you are staying here. If Our Lady lets
you, tell everybody what hell is like, so that they won’t commit any
more sins and not go to hell.”
At other times, after thinking for a while, she said: “So many
people falling into hell! So many people in hell!”
To quieten her, I said: “Don’t be afraid! You’re going to Heaven.”
“Yes, I am,” she said serenely, “but I want all those people to
go there too!”
When, in a spirit of mortification, she did not want to eat, I
said to her:
“Listen, Jacinta! Come and eat now.”
“No! I’m offering this sacrifice for sinners who eat too much.”
When she was ill, and yet went to Mass on a week day, I
urged her:
“Jacinta, don’t come! You can’t, you’re not able. Besides, today
is not a Sunday!”
“That doesn’t matter! I’m going for sinners who don’t go on a
If she happened to hear any of those expressions which some
people make a show of uttering, she covered her face with her
hands and said:
“Oh, my God, don’t those people realize that they can go to
hell for saying those things? My Jesus, forgive them and convert
them. They certainly don’t know that they are offending God by all
this! What a pity, my Jesus! I’ll pray for them.” There and then, she
repeated the prayer that Our Lady had taught us: “Oh, my Jesus,
forgive us...”

4. Lucia Looks Back

Now, Your Excellency, another thought comes to my mind. I

have sometimes been asked if, in any of the Apparitions, Our Lady
pointed out to us which kind of sins offend God most. They say that
Jacinta, when in Lisbon, mentioned sins of the flesh 13. She had
often questioned me on this matter, and I think now, that when in
Lisbon, perhaps it occurred to her to put the question to Our Lady
herself, and that this was the answer she received.
Well, Your Excellency, it seems to me that I have now made
known the first part of the secret.

5. The Immaculate Heart of Mary

The second part refers to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart

of Mary.
As I have already written in the second account, Our Lady told
me on June 13th, 1917, that she would never forsake me, and that
her Immaculate Heart would be my refuge and the way that would
lead me to God. As she spoke these words, she opened her hands,
and from them streamed a light that penetrated to our inmost hearts.
I think that, on that day, the main purpose of this light was to infuse
within us a special knowledge and love for the Immaculate Heart of
Mary 14, just as on the other two occasions it was intended to do, as
it seems to me, with regard to God and the mystery of the most
Holy Trinity.
From that day onwards, our hearts were filled with a more ar-
dent love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. From time to time,
Jacinta said to me: “The Lady said that her Immaculate Heart will
be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. Don’t you love
that? Her Heart is so good! How I love it!”
As I explained earlier, Our Lady told us, in the July secret, that
God wished to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate

It is true that Jacinta, on account of her age, did not realize what is meant by
this sin. However, this does not mean that, with her great intuition, she did not
understand the seriousness of this sin.
Jacinta’s love for the Immaculate Heart was like an ‘infused gift’, as Lucia tells
us, which can only be explained as a great mystic grace bestowed on her.

Heart; and that to prevent a future war, she would come to ask for
the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and for the
Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. From then on,
whenever we spoke of this among ourselves, Jacinta said: “ I am
so grieved to be unable to receive Communion in reparation for the
sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!”
I have also mentioned already how Jacinta chose from the
litany of ejaculations which Father Cruz suggested to us, this one:
“Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!” After saying it, she used to
add sometimes, with the simplicity that was natural to her: “ I so
love the Immaculate Heart of Mary! It is the heart of our dear Mother
in Heaven! Don’t you love saying many times over: ‘Sweet Heart of
Mary, Immaculate Heart of Mary’? I love it so much, so very much.”
At other times, as she gathered wild flowers, she sang a little
tune that she made up herself as she went along: “Sweet Heart of
Mary, be my salvation! Immaculate Heart of Mary, convert sinners,
save souls from hell!”

6. Jacinta’s Visions of the Holy Father

One day we spent our siesta down by my parents’ well. Jacinta

sat on the stone slabs on top of the well. Francisco and I climbed
up a steep bank in search of wild honey among the brambles in a
nearby thicket. After a little while, Jacinta called out to me:
«Didn’t you see the Holy Father?”
“I don’t know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very
big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands,
and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people.
Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and
using bad language 15. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much
for him.”

With the revelation of the third part of the “secret” one understands better why
Jacinta recognized, in her visions, the Holy Father. On 27 April 2000, Lucia,
responding to the question of Monsignor Bertone if the principal person in the
vision was the Pope, said. We did not know the name of the Pope; Our Lady
did not say the name of the Pope. We didn’t know if it was Benedict XV, Pius
XII, Paul VI or John Paul II, but it was the Pope who was suffering and that
made us suffer too (Appendix III, pg. 217-218).

I have already told you how, one day, two priests recommended
us to pray for the Holy Father, and explained to us who the Pope
was. Afterwards, Jacinta asked me:
“Is he the one I saw weeping, the one Our Lady told us about
in the secret?”
“Yes, he is,” I answered.
“The Lady must surely have shown him also to those priests.
You see, I wasn’t mistaken. We need to pray a lot for him.”
At another time, we went to the cave called Lapa do Cabeço.
As soon as we got there, we prostrated on the ground, saying the
prayers the Angel had taught us. After some time, Jacinta stood up
and called to me:
“Can’t you see all those highways and roads and fields full of
people, who are crying with hunger and have nothing to eat? And
the Holy Father in a church praying before the Immaculate Heart of
Mary? And so many people praying with him?”
Some days later, she asked me: “Can I say that I saw the Holy
Father and all those people?”
“No. Don’t you see that that’s part of the secret? If you do,
they’ll find out right away.”
“All right! Then I’ll say nothing at all.”

7. Visions of War

One day, I went to Jacinta’s house to spend a little while with

her. I found her sitting on her bed, deep in thought.
“Jacinta, what are you thinking about?”
“About the war that is coming.16 So many people are going to
die, and almost all of them are going to hell! ” Many homes will be
destroyed, and many priests will be killed. Look, I am going to
Heaven, and as for you, when you see the light which the Lady told
us would come one night before the war, you run up there too.” 17
“Don’t you see that nobody can just run off to Heaven!”

This is the Second World War. Jacinta experienced this part of the secret in
a mystic way.
Lucia wants to convey, in these words, how such visions caused terror in
the soul of little Jacinta.

“That’s true, you cannot! But don’t be afraid! In Heaven I’ll be
praying hard for you, for the Holy Father, for Portugal, so that the
war will not come here 18, and for all priests.”
Your Excellency is not unaware that, a few years ago, God
manifested that sign, which astronomers chose to call an aurora
borealis 19. I don’t know for certain, but I think if they investigated
the matter, they would discover that, in the form in which it ap-
peared, it could not possibly have been an aurora borealis. Be that
as it may, God made use of this to make me understand that His
justice was about to strike the guilty nations. For this reason, I be-
gan to plead insistently for the Communion of Reparation on the
First Saturdays, and the consecration of Russia. My intention was
to obtain mercy and pardon, not only for the whole world, but for
Europe in particular.
When God, in His infinite mercy, made me feel that the terrible
moment was drawing near, Your Excellency may recall how, when-
ever occasion offered, I took the opportunity of pointing it out. I still
say that the prayer and penance which have been done in Portu-
gal, have not yet appeased the Divine Justice, for they have not
been accompanied by either contrition or amendment. I hope that
Jacinta is interceding for us in Heaven.
As I said in the notes I sent about the book called “Jacinta”
she was most deeply impressed by some of the things revealed to
us in the secret. Such was the case with the vision of hell and the
ruin of the many souls who go there, or again, the future war with
all its horrors, which seemed to be always present to her mind.
These made her tremble with fear. When I saw her deep in thought,
and asked her: “Jacinta, what are you thinking about?” she fre-
quently replied:
“About the war which is coming, and all the people who are
going to die and go to hell! How dreadful! If they would only stop
offending God, then there wouldn’t be any war and they wouldn’t
go to hell!”
Sometimes, she also said to me: “I feel so sorry for you! Francis-
co and I are going to Heaven, and you’re going to stay here all by

Although at times in danger, Portugal was actually spared throughout the
entire Second World War.
See Note 9.

yourself! I asked Our Lady to take you to Heaven, too, but she
wants you to stay here for a while longer. When the war comes, do
not be afraid. In Heaven, I’ll be praying for you.»
Shortly before she went to Lisbon, at one of those times when
she felt sad at the thought of our coming separation, I said to her:
“Don’t be upset because I can’t go with you. You can then spend
your time thinking of Our Lady and Our Lord, and saying many
times over those words you love so much: ‘My God, I love You!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sweet Heart of Mary’, and so on.”
“Yes, indeed,” she eagerly replied, “I’ll never get tired of saying
those until I die! And then, I can sing them many times over in

8. Lucia Explains her Silence

It may be, Your Excellency, that some people think that I should
have made known all this some time ago, because they consider
that it would have been twice as valuable years beforehand 20. This
would have been the case, if God had willed to present me to the
world as a prophetess. But I believe that God had no such inten-
tion, when He made known these things to me. If that had been the
case, I think that, in 1917, when He ordered me to keep silence,
and this order was confirmed by those who represented Him 21, He
would, on the contrary, have ordered me to speak. I consider then,
Your Excellency, that God willed only to make use of me to remind
the world that it is necessary to avoid sin, and to make reparation
to an offended God, by means of prayer and penance.
Where could I have hidden myself in order to escape from the
innumerable questions they would have asked me about such a
matter? Even now I am afraid, just thinking of what lies ahead of
me! And I must confess that my repugnance in making this known

It could not be said that Lucia’s ‘prophecies’ were ‘post eventum’, simply
because her superiors released her manuscripts for publication only after
the events which had been announced in them. These manuscripts were, in
fact, already composed prior to the events taking place.
As regards the publication of the documents on Fatima, there was a won-
derful ‘economia silentii’, i.e., a special concern which can only be explained
by an admirable Divine Providence governing everything that happened.

is so great that, although I have before me the letter in which Your
Excellency orders me to write everything else that I can remember,
and I feel interiorly convinced that this is indeed the hour that God
has chosen for my doing this, I still hesitate and experience a real
inner conflict, not knowing whether to give you what I have written,
or to burn it. As yet, I do not know what will be the outcome of the
struggle. It will be as God wills.
For me, keeping silent has been a great grace. What would
have happened had I described hell? Being unable to find words
which exactly express the reality – for what I say is nothing and gives
only a feeble idea of it all – I would therefore have said, now one
thing, now another, wanting to explain but not succeeding in doing
so. I might thus perhaps have caused such a confusion of ideas as
even to spoil, who knows, the work of God. For this reason, I give
thanks to the Lord, and I know that He does all things well.
God usually accompanies His revelations with an intimate and
detailed understanding of their significance. But I do not venture to
speak of this matter, for fear of being led astray, as can all too
easily happen, by my own imagination. Jacinta seemed to have
this understanding to quite a remarkable degree.

9. Jacinta and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

A little while before going to hospital, Jacinta said to me: “lt will
not be long now before I go to Heaven. You will remain here to
make known that God wishes to establish in the world devotion to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When you are to say this, don’t go
and hide. Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the
Immaculate Heart of Mary; that people are to ask her for them; and
that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be
venerated at His side. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary for peace since God has entrusted it to her. If I could
only put into the hearts of all, the fire that is burning within my own
heart, and that makes me love the Hearts of Jesus and Mary so
very much!” 22

Jacinta’s recommendation to promote the devotion to the Immaculate Heart
of Mary throughout the world is truly remarkable. For Lucia herself, this was
to be a great stimulus in the years to come.

One day, I was given a holy picture of the Heart of Jesus, quite
a nice one, as man-made pictures go. I took it to Jacinta.
“Do you want this holy picture?”
She took it, looked at it attentively, and remarked:
“lt’s so ugly! It doesn’t look like Our Lord at all. He is so beau-
tiful! But I want it; it is He just the same.”
She always carried it with her. At night and during her illness,
she kept it under her pillow, until it fell apart. She kissed it frequently,
“I kiss the Heart, because I love it most! How I would love to
have a Heart of Mary! Don’t you have one? I’d love to have the two
On another occasion, I brought her a picture of a chalice with
a host. She took it, kissed it, and radiant with joy she exclaimed:
“It is the Hidden Jesus! I love Him so much! If only I could
receive Him in church! Don’t they receive Holy Communion in
Heaven? If they do, then I will go to Holy Communion every day. If
only the Angel would go to the hospital to bring me Holy Commun-
ion again, how happy I would be!”
Sometimes, on returning from church, I went in to see her, and
she asked me:
“Did you receive Holy Communion?”
And if I answered in the affirmative, she said:
“Come over here close to me, for you have the Hidden Jesus
in your heart.”
At other times, she told me:
“ I don’t know how it is! But I feel Our Lord within me. I under-
stand what He says to me, although I neither see Him nor hear
Him, but it is so good to be with Him!”
On another occasion, she remarked:
“Look, do you know this? Our Lord is sad, because Our Lady
told us not to offend Him any more, for He is already very much
offended; yet nobody takes any notice, and they continue to com-
mit the same sins!”


There, Your Excellency, is everything else I can remember about

Jacinta, and which I don’t think I have already said before. The
meaning of all I say is exact 23. As regards the manner of express-
ing myself, I do not know if I have exchanged one word for another,
as for example, when we spoke of Our Lady: sometimes, we said
Our Lady, and sometimes, the Lady. And now I no longer remem-
ber which of the two phrases we used at a given time. It is the same
with a few other small details, which I think are only of minor impor-
tance. I offer to our good God and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
this little work, which is the fruit of my poor and humble submission
to those who represent Him in my regard. I beg Them to make it
fruitful for Their glory and the good of souls.

Tuy, 31-8-1941.

It is very important to distinguish between the ‘meaning’ and the ‘wording’,
in order to really understand Lucia’s manuscripts.



This longest of all the Memoirs came into existence like the previous
ones, by chance as it were, being written, not on Lucia’s own initiative, but
at the request of her superiors. On October 7th, 1941, the Bishop of Leiria
and Rev. Dr. Galamba, well prepared for further interrogations, came to
Valença do Minho, and there Lucia joined them. They brought the Third
Memoir with them, explained what Dr. Galamba now desired to know, and
presented Dom José’s formal requests. They so stressed the need for haste
that Lucia sent the first note-book to the Bishop, immediately upon its com-
pletion, on November 5th. The second and last note-book was finished by
the 8th of December.
Now, what was it that was required of Lucia? Someone wanted her to
write down absolutely “everything” without delay. But the Bishop very wisely
remarked: “No, I will not ask her to do that...” Nevertheless, Lucia was
asked to do quite a lot:
1. Dr. Galamba had many questions which, due to lack of time, she was
to answer in writing.
2. She was to write down everything she could remember in connection
with Francisco, just as she had already done with regard to Jacinta.
3. Further details of the Apparitions of the Angel were requested in wri-
4, She was asked to write a new account of the Apparitions of Our Lady.
5. She was to put in writing any further recollections of Jacinta.
6. The popular songs they sang were to be written down as well.
7. She was to read the book by Fr. Fonseca, and note down everything
which she considered inaccurate.
Lucia spared no effort in dealing with all these questions. She an-
swered with admirable clarity and in great detail. She could indeed assure
the Bishop: “I believe I have written everything which Your Excellency has
asked me to write just now.»
Quite deliberately, she withheld only the third part of the secret. As to
the spirit in which she wrote, this does not differ at all from that of her
former manuscripts: “...obedience and abandonment to God who works
within me. I am truly no more than a poor and miserable instrument which
He desires to use, and in a little while, like a painter who casts his now
useless brush into the fire so that it may be reduced to ashes, the Divine
Artist will Himself reduce His now useless instrument to the ashes of the
tomb, until the great day of the eternal Alleluias.”


1. Confidence and Abandonment

J. M. J.

Your Excellency,

After a humble prayer at the feet of Our Lord in the tabernacle

and before the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our loving heavenly
Mother, asking the grace not to be permitted to write one word, or
even a single letter, that is not for Their glory, I come now to begin
this work, happy and at peace as are those whose conscience
assures them that they are doing in all things the will of God.
Abandoning myself completely into the arms of our heavenly
Father and to the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I
therefore once again place in Your Excellency’s hands the fruits of
my one tree, the tree of obedience.

2. Inspiration in the Attic

Before making a start, I thought of opening the New Testa-

ment, the only book I desire to have here in front of me, in this
remote corner of the attic, lit by a single skylight, to which I with-
draw whenever I can, in order to escape, as far as possible, from
all human eyes. My lap serves as a table, and an old trunk as a
But, someone will say, why don’t you write in your cell?
Our dear Lord has seen fit to deprive me even of a cell, al-
though there are quite a few empty ones in the house 1. As a matter
of fact, the community room that we use for work and recreation
would seem more suitable for the fulfilment of His designs; but, just
as it is inconvenient for writing during the day, so is it all too condu-
cive to drowsiness at night time. But I am glad and I thank God for
the grace of having been born poor, and for living more poorly still
for love of Him.

She is writing in the attic of the Novitiate House at Tuy.

Dear Lord! That was not at all what I intended to say.
I must return to what God presented to me when I opened the
New Testament.
In St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 2, 5-8, I read as follows:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, be-
ing in the form of God..., emptied Himself, taking the form of a
servant... He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death.”
After reflecting awhile, I read also verses 12 and 13 of the same
chapter: “With fear and trembling work out your salvation. It is God
who works in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to His
good will.”
Very well then. I need no more than this: obedience and aban-
donment to God who works within me. I am truly no more than a
poor and miserable instrument which He desires to use, and in a
little while, like a painter who casts his now useless brush into the
fire so that it may be reduced to ashes, the Divine Artist will Him-
self reduce His now useless instrument to the ashes of the tomb,
until the great day of the eternal Alleluias. And I ardently desire that
day, for the tomb does not annihilate everything, and the happi-
ness of eternal and infinite love begins – now! 2

3. Unction of the Spirit

Your Excellency,
In Valença, on October 7th, 1941, I was asked the following
question by Rev. Dr. Galamba:
“Sister, when you said that penance had been done only in
part, did you say this of yourself, or was it revealed to you?” I think,
Your Excellency, that, in such cases, I never speak or write any-
thing at all that comes from myself alone. I have to thank God for
the assistance of the Divine Holy Spirit, whom I feel within me,
suggesting to me what I am to write or say. If, at times, my own
imagination or understanding suggests something to me, I at once
feel the lack of the divine unction, and I stop what I am doing, until
I know in my inmost heart what it is that God wants me to say

This prologue reveals Lucia’s literary taste and education, and shows that
she had a rare talent for writing.

instead 3. But why do I tell you all this? I do not know. God knows,
who has inspired Your Excellency to command me to tell every-
thing, and not deliberately conceal anything.


1. His Spirituality

I am going to begin then, Your Excellency, by writing what God

wills to bring to my mind about Francisco. I hope that Our Lord will
make him know in Heaven what I am writing about him on earth, so
that he may intercede for me with Jesus and Mary, especially dur-
ing these coming days.
The friendship which bound me to Francisco was just one of
kinship 4, and which increased with the graces Heaven deigned to
grant us.
Apart from his features and his practice of virtue, Francisco
did not seem at all to be Jacinta’s brother. Unlike her, he was nei-
ther capricious nor vivacious. On the contrary, he was quiet and
submissive by nature.
When we were at play and he won the game, if anyone made
a point of denying him his rights as winner, he yielded without
more ado and merely said: “You think you won? That’s alright! I
don’t mind!”
He showed no love for dancing, as Jacinta did; he much pre-
ferred playing the flute while the others danced.
In our games he was quite lively; but few of us liked to play
with him as he nearly always lost. I must confess that I myself did
not always feel too kindly disposed towards him, as his naturally
calm temperament exasperated my own excessive vivacity. Some-
times, I caught him by the arm, made him sit down on the ground
or on a stone, and told him to keep still; he obeyed me as if I had
real authority over him. Afterwards, I felt sorry, and went and took
him by the hand, and he would come along with me as good-hu-

Lucia, however, never intended to say that she felt ‘inspired’‘ in the scrip-
tural sense of the word.
He was Lucia’s cousin on her father’s side.

mouredly as though nothing had happened. If one of the other chil-
dren insisted on taking away something belonging to him, he said:
“Let them have it! What do I care?”
I recall how, one day, he came to my house and was delighted
to show me a handkerchief with a picture of Our Lady of Nazaré
on it, which someone had brought him from the seaside. All the
children gathered round him to admire it. The handkerchief was
passed from hand to hand, and in a few minutes it disappeared.
We looked for it, but it was nowhere to be found. A little later, I
found it myself in another small boy’s pocket. I wanted to take it
away from him, but he insisted that it was his own, and that some-
one had brought him one from the beach as well. To put an end to
the quarrel, Francisco then went up to him and said: “Let him have
it! What does a handkerchief matter to me?” My own opinion is
that, if he had lived to manhood, his greatest defect would have
been his attitude of ‘never mind!’
When I was seven and began to take our sheep out to pas-
ture, he seemed to be quite indifferent. In the evenings, he waited
for me in my parents’ yard, with his little sister, but this was not out
of affection for me, but rather to please her. As soon as Jacinta
heard the tinkling of the sheep bells, she ran out to meet me;
whereas Francisco waited for me, sitting on the stone steps lead-
ing up to our front door. Afterwards, he came with us to play on the
old threshing floor, while we watched for Our Lady and the Angels
to light their lamps. He eagerly counted the stars with us, but noth-
ing enchanted him as much as the beauty of sunrise or sunset. As
long as he could still glimpse one last ray of the setting sun, he
made no attempt to watch for the first lamp to be lit in the sky.
“No lamp is as beautiful as Our Lord's,” he used to remark to
Jacinta, who much preferred Our Lady’s lamp because, as she
explained, “it doesn’t hurt our eyes.” Enraptured, he watched the
sun rays glinting on the window panes of the homes in the neigh-
bouring villages, or glistening in the drops of water which spangled
the trees and furze bushes of the serra, making them shine like so
many stars; in his eyes these were a thousand times more beauti-
ful than the Angels’ lamps.
When he persisted in pleading with his mother to let him take
care of the flock and therefore come along with me, it was more to
please Jacinta than anything else, for she much preferred Francis-

co’s company to that of her brother John. One day his mother, al-
ready quite annoyed, refused this permission, and he answered
with his usual tranquility: “Mother, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s Jacinta
who wants me to go.” He confirmed this on yet another occasion.
One of my former companions came to my house to invite me to go
with her, as she had a particularly good pasturage in view for that
day. As the sky was overcast, I went to my aunt’s house to enquire
who was going out that day, Francisco and Jacinta,or their brother
John; in case of the latter, I preferred the company of my former
companion. My aunt had already decided that, as it looked like
rain, John should go. But Francisco went to his mother again, and
insisted on going himself. He received a curt and decided “No”,
whereupon he exclaimed:
“It’s all the same with me. It is Jacinta who feels badly about it.”

2. Natural Inclinations

What Francisco enjoyed most, when we were out on the moun-

tains together, was to perch on the top of the highest rock, and sing
or play his flute. If his little sister came down to run races with me,
he stayed up there entertaining himself with his music and song.
The song he sang most often went like this:


I love God in Heaven,

I love Him, too, on earth,
I love the flowers of the fields,
I love the sheep on the mountains.

I am a poor shepherd girl,

I always pray to Mary;
In the midst of my flock
I am like the sun at noon.

Together with my lambkins

I learn to skip and jump;
I am the joy of the serra
And the lily of the vale.

He always took part in our games when we invited him, but he
seldom waxed enthusiastic, remarking: “I’ll go, but I know I’ll be the
loser.” These were the games we knew and found most entertain-
ing: pebbles, forfeits, pass the ring, buttons, hit the mark, quoits,
and card games such as the bisca game, turning up the kings,
queens and knaves, and so on. We had two packs of cards; I had
one and they had the other. Francisco liked best to play cards, and
the bisca was his favourite game.

3. Francisco Sees the Angel

During the Apparition of the Angel, he prostrated like his sister

and myself, carried away by the same supernatural force that moved
us to do so; but he learned the prayer by hearing us repeat it, since,
he told us, he heard nothing of what the Angel said.
Afterwards, when we prostrated to say that prayer, he was the
first to feel the strain of such a posture; but he remained kneeling
or sitting, and still praying, until we had finished. Later he said: “I
am not able to stay like that for a long time, like you. My back aches
so much that I can’t do it.”
At the second Apparition of the Angel, down by the well, Fran-
cisco waited a few moments after it was over, then asked:
“You spoke to the Angel. What did he say to you?”
“Didn’t you hear?”
“No. I could see that he was talking to you. I heard what you
said to him; but what he said to you, I don’t know.”
As the supernatural atmosphere in which the Angel left us,
had not yet entirely disappeared, I told him to ask Jacinta or myself
next day.
“Jacinta, you tell me what the Angel said.”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow. Today I can’t talk about it.”
Next day, as soon as he came up to me, he asked me:
“Did you sleep last night? I kept thinking about the Angel, and
what he could have said.”
I then told him all that the Angel had said at the first and sec-
ond Apparitions. But it seemed that he had not received an under-
standing of all that the words meant, for he asked:

“Who is the Most High? What is the meaning of: ‘The Hearts of
Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications’?...”
Having received an answer, he remained deep in thought for a
while, and then broke in with another question. But my mind was
not yet free, so I told him to wait until the next day, because at that
moment I was unable to speak. He waited quite contentedly, but he
did not let slip the very next opportunity of putting more questions.
This made Jacinta say to him:
“Listen! We shouldn’t talk much about these things.”
When we spoke about the Angel, I don’t know what it was that
we felt.
“I don’t know how I feel,” Jacinta said. “I can no longer talk, or
sing, or play. I haven’t strength enough for anything.”
“Neither have I,” replied Francisco, “but what of it? The Angel
is more beautiful than all this. Let’s think about him.”
In the third Apparition, the presence of the supernatural made
itself felt more intensely still. For several days even Francisco did
not venture to speak. Later he said:
“ I love to see the Angel, but the worst of it is that, afterwards,
we are unable to do anything. I couldn’t even walk. I don’t know
what was the matter with me.”
In spite of that, after the third Apparition of the Angel, it was he
who noticed that it was getting dark, and who drew our attention to
the fact, and thought we should take our flocks back home.
Once the first few days were over and we had returned to nor-
mal, Francisco asked:
“The Angel gave you Holy Communion, but what was it that he
gave to Jacinta and me?”
“ It was Holy Communion, too” replied Jacinta, with inex-
pressible joy. “Didn’t you see that it was the Blood that fell from the
“ I felt that God was within me, but I did not know how!”
Then, prostrating on the ground, he and his sister remained
for a long time, saying over and over again the prayer of the Angel
“ Most Holy Trinity...”
Little by little, the atmosphere of the supernatural faded away,
and by the 13th of May, we were playing with almost as much en-
joyment and freedom of spirit as we had done before.

4. Impressions of the First Apparition

The Apparition of Our Lady plunged us once more into the

atmosphere of the supernatural, but this time more gently. Instead
of that annihilation in the Divine Presence, which exhausted us
even physically, it left us filled with peace and expansive joy, which
did not prevent us from speaking afterwards of what had happened.
However, with regard to the light communicated to us when Our
Lady opened her hands, and everything connected with this light,
we experienced a kind of interior impulse that compelled us to
keep silent.
Afterwards, we told Francisco all that Our Lady had said. He
was overjoyed and expressed the happiness he felt when he heard
of the promise that he would go to Heaven. Crossing his hands on
his breast, he exclaimed, “Oh, my dear Our Lady! I’ll say as many
rosaries as you want!” And from then on, he made a habit of mov-
ing away from us, as though going for a walk. When we called him
and asked him what he was doing, he raised his hand and showed
me his rosary. If we told him to come and play, and say the rosary
with us afterwards, he replied:
“I’ll pray then as well. Don’t you remember that Our Lady said
I must pray many rosaries?”
He said to me on one occasion: “I loved seeing the Angel, but
I loved still more seeing Our Lady. What I loved most of all was to
see Our Lord in that light from Our Lady which penetrated our hearts.
I love God so much! But He is very sad because of so many sins!
We must never commit any sins again.”
I have already said, in the second account about Jacinta, how
he was the one who gave me the news that she had broken our
agreement not to say anything. As he shared my opinion that the
matter should be kept secret, he added sadly: “As for me, when my
mother asked me if it were true, I had to say that it was, so as not to
tell a lie.”
From time to time, he said: “Our Lady told us that we would
have much to suffer, but I don’t mind. I’ll suffer all that she wishes!
What I want is to go to Heaven!”
One day, when I showed how unhappy I was over the perse-
cution now beginning both in my family and outside, Francisco tried
to encourage me with these words:

“Never mind! Didn’t Our Lady say that we would have much to
suffer, to make reparation to Our Lord and to her own Immaculate
Heart for all the sins by which They are offended? They are so
sad! If we can console them with these sufferings, how happy we
shall be!”
When we arrived at our pasturage a few days after Our Lady’s
first Apparition, he climbed up to the top of a steep rock, and called
out to us:
“Don’t come up here; let me stay here alone.”
“All right.” And off I went, chasing butterflies with Jacinta. We
no sooner caught them than we made the sacrifice of letting them
fly away, and we never gave another thought to Francisco. When
lunch time came, we missed him and went to call him:
“Francisco, don’t you want to come for your lunch?”
“No, you eat.”
“And to pray the Rosary?”
“That, yes, later on. Call me again.”
When I went to call him again, he said to me:
“You come up here and pray with me.”
We climbed up to the peak, where the three of us could scarcely
find room to kneel down, and I asked him:
“But what have you been doing all this time?”
“I am thinking about God, Who is so sad because of so many
sins! If only I could give Him joy!” 5
One day, we began to sing in happy chorus about the joys of
the serra:


Ah! tra lala, la la

Tra lala, la la
La la la!

In this life everything sings,

And who sings better than I?
The shepherdess out on the serra,
Or the maid a-washing in the stream!

It may well be said that Francisco had the gift of highest contemplation.

There’s the merry chirp of the goldfinch
That comes to awaken me,
As soon as the sun arises,
The brambles come alive with his song.

The screech owl cries at night

Seeking to frighten me,
The girl in the moonlight sings
As she gaily shucks the corn.

The nightingale in the meadow

Spends the whole day long in song,
The turtle dove sings in the wood,
Even the cart squeaks out a song!

The serra is a rock-strewn garden

Smiling happily all the day long,
Sparkling with gleaming dew drops
That glisten on the mountain side!

We sang it right through once, and were about to repeat it,

when Francisco interrupted us: “Let’s not sing any more. Since we
saw the Angel and Our Lady, singing doesn’t appeal to me any

5. Impressions of the Second Apparition

At the second Apparition on June 13th, 1917, Francisco was

deeply impressed by the light which, as I related in the second
account, Our Lady communicated to us at the moment when she
said: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which
will lead you to God.” At the time, he did not seem to grasp the
significance of what was happening, perhaps because it was not
given to him to hear the accompanying words. For this reason, he
asked later:
“Why did Our Lady have a Heart in her hand, spreading out
over the world that great light which is God? You were with Our
Lady in the light which went down towards the earth, and Jacinta
was with me in the light which rose towards heaven!”

“That is because you and Jacinta will soon go to Heaven,” I
replied, “while I, with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, will remain for
some time longer on earth.”
“How many years longer will you stay here?” he asked.
“I don’t know. Quite a lot.”
“Was it Our Lady who said so?”
“Yes, and I saw it in the light that she shone into our hearts.”
Jacinta confirmed the very same thing, saying:
“It is just like that! That’s exactly how I saw it too!”
He remarked sometimes:
“These people are so happy just because you told them that
Our Lady wants the Rosary said, and that you are to learn to read!
How would they feel if they only knew what she showed to us in
God, in her Immaculate Heart, in that great light! But this is a se-
cret; it must not be spoken about. It’s better that no one should
know it.”
After this Apparition, whenever they asked us if Our Lady had
said anything else, we began to give this reply: “Yes, she did, but
it’s a secret.” If they asked us why it was a secret, we shrugged our
shoulders, lowered our heads and kept silent. But, after the 13th of
July, we said: “Our Lady told us we were not to tell it to anybody,”
thus referring to the secret imposed on us by Our Lady.

6. Francisco Strengthens Lucia’s Courage

In the course of this month, the influx of people increased con-

siderably, and so did the constant questionings and contradictions.
Francisco suffered quite a lot from all this, and complained to his
sister, saying:
“What a pity! If you’d only kept quiet, no one would know! If
only it were not a lie, we could tell all the people that we saw noth-
ing, and that would be the end of it. But this can’t be done!”
When he saw me perplexed and in doubt, he wept, and said:
“But how can you think that it is the devil? Didn’t you see Our
Lady and God in that great light? How can we go there without you,
when it is you who do the talking?”
That night after supper he came back to my house, called me
out to the old threshing floor, and said:
“Look! Aren’t you going tomorrow?”

“ I’m not going. I’ve already told you I’m not going back there
any more.”
“But what a shame! Why is it that you now think that way?
Don’t you see that it can’t be the devil? God is already sad enough
on account of so many sins, and now if you don’t go, He’ll be sad-
der still! Come on, say you’ll go!”
“ I’ve already told you I’m not going. It’s no use asking me.” And
I returned abruptly to the house.
A few days later, he said to me: “You know, I never slept at all
that night. I spent the whole time crying and praying, begging Our
Lady to make you go!”

7. Impressions of the Third Apparition

In the third Apparition, Francisco seemed to be the one on

whom the vision of hell made the least impression, though it did
indeed have quite a considerable effect on him. What made the
most powerful impression on him and what wholly absorbed him,
was God, the Most Holy Trinity, perceived in that light which pen-
etrated our inmost souls. Afterwards, he said:
“We were on fire in that light which is God, and yet we were
not burnt! What is God?... We could never put it into words. Yes,
that is something indeed which we could never express! But what
a pity it is that He is so sad! If only I could console Him!...”
One day, I was asked if Our Lady had told us to pray for sin-
ners, and I said she had not. At the first opportunity, while the peo-
ple were questioning Jacinta, he called me aside and said:
“You lied just now! How could you say that Our Lady didn’t tell
us to pray for sinners? Didn’t she ask us to pray for sinners, then?”
“For sinners, no! She told us to pray for peace, for the war to
end. But for sinners, she told us to make sacrifices.”
“Ah! That’s true. I was beginning to think you had lied.”

8. Francisco in Prison

I have already described how Francisco spent the day praying

and weeping, perhaps even more upset than I was, when my father
received an order to present me before the Administrator at Vila

Nova de Ourém 6. In prison, he was quite courageous, and tried
to cheer up Jacinta when she felt most homesick. While we were
saying the Rosary in prison, he noticed that one of the prisoners
was on his knees with his cap still on his head. Francisco went up to
him and said: “If you wish to pray, you should take your cap off.”
Right away, the poor man handed it to him and he went over and put
it on the bench on top of his own.
During Jacinta’s interrogation, he confided to me with bound-
less joy and peace: “If they kill us as they say, we’ll soon be in
Heaven! How wonderful! Nothing else matters!” Then after a mo-
ment’s silence he added: “God grant that Jacinta won’t be afraid.
I’m going to say a Hail Mary for her!” He promptly removed his cap
and prayed. The guard, seeing him praying, asked him:
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying a Hail Mary so that Jacinta won’t be afraid.”
The guard made a scornful gesture and let him go ahead.
One day, after our return from Vila Nova de Ourém, we began
to be aware of the presence of the supernatural all around us, and
to feel that we were about to receive some heavenly communica-
tion. Francisco at once showed his concern over Jacinta’s absence.
“What a pity it would be,” he exclaimed, “if Jacinta did not get
here in time!”
He begged his brother to go quickly and get her, adding:
“Tell her to run here.”
After his brother had left us, Francisco said:
“Jacinta will be very sad if she doesn’t arrive in time.”
After the Apparition, his sister wanted to stay there the whole
afternoon, so he said: “No! You must go home, because Mother
didn’t let you come out with the sheep.” And to encourage her, he
went back to the house with her.
In prison, when we noticed that it was already past midday,
and that they would not let us go to the Cova da Iria, Francisco
“Perhaps Our Lady will come and appear to us here.”
On the following day, he could not hide his distress, and al-
most in tears, he said:

On August 11th, Lucia was taken by her father to appear before the Admin-
istrator. Ti Marto, however, refused to take his children there.

“ Our Lady must have been very sad because we didn’t go to
the Cova da Iria, and she won’t appear to us again. I would so love
to see her!”
While in prison, Jacinta wept bitterly, for she was so homesick
for her mother and all the family. Francisco tried to cheer her saying:
“Even if we never see our mother again, let’s be patient! We
can offer it for the conversion of sinners. The worst thing would be
if Our Lady never came back again! That is what hurts me most.
But I offer this as well for sinners.”
Afterwards, he asked me:
“Tell me! Will Our Lady not come and appear to us any more?”
“I don’t know. I think she will.”
“I miss her so much!”
The Apparition at Valinhos was, therefore, a double joy for him.
He had been tormented by the fear that she would never return. He
told me later:
“Most likely, she didn’t appear on the 13th, so as to avoid
going to the Administrator’s house, maybe because he is such a
bad man.”

9. Impressions of the Last Apparitions

After the 13th of September, when I told Francisco that in Oc-

tober Our Lord would come as well, he was overwhelmed with joy.
“Oh, how wonderful! I’ve only seen Him twice, and I love Him so
much!” 7 From time to time, he asked:
“Are there many days left till the 13th? I’m longing for that day
to come, so that I can see Our Lord again.” Then he thought for a
moment, and added:
“But listen! Will He still be so sad? I am so sorry to see Him
sad like that! I offer Him all the sacrifices I can think of. Sometimes,
I don’t even run away from all those people, just in order to make
After October 13th, he said to me:
“I loved seeing Our Lord, but I loved still more seeing Him in
that light where we were with Him as well. It’s not long now, and

He refers to the Apparitions in June and July. They saw Our Lord in the
mysterious light which Our Lady communicated to them.

Our Lord will take me up close to Him, and then I can look at Him
One day, I asked him:
“When you are questioned, why do you put your head down
and not want to answer?”
«Because I want you to answer, and Jacinta too. I didn’t hear
anything. I can only say that I saw. Then, supposing I said some-
thing you don’t want me to say?”
Every now and then, he went off and left us without warning.
When we missed him, we went in search of him, calling out his
name. He answered from behind a little wall, or a shrub or a clump
of brambles, and there he was on his knees, praying.
“Why didn’t you tell us so that we could come and pray with you?”
“Because I prefer to pray alone.”
In my notes on the book called ‘Jacinta’, I’ve already related
what happened on a piece of land known as Varzea. I don’t think I
need to repeat it here.
On our way to my home one day, we had to pass by my god-
mother’s house. She had just been making a mead drink, and called
us in to give us a glass. We went in, and Francisco was the first to
whom she offered a glassful. He took it, and without drinking it, he
passed it on to Jacinta, so that she and I could have a drink first.
Meanwhile, he turned on his heel and disappeared.
“Where is Francisco?” my godmother asked.
“I don’t know! He was here just now.”
He did not return, so Jacinta and I thanked my godmother for
the drink and went in search of Francisco. We knew beyond a
shadow of a doubt that he would be sitting on the edge of the well
which I have mentioned so often.
“Francisco, you didn’t drink your glass of mead! My godmother
called you so many times, and you didn’t appear!”
“When I took the glass, I suddenly remembered I could offer
that sacrifice to console Our Lord, so while you two were taking a
drink, I ran over here.”

10. Anecdotes and Popular Songs

Between my house and Francisco’s lived my godfather

Anastacio, who was married to an older woman whom God had

not blessed with children. They were farmers and quite well-off, so
they didn’t need to work. My father was overseer of their farm and
had charge of the day labourers. In gratitude for this, they showed
a special liking for me, particularly my godfather’s wife, whom I
called my godmother Teresa. If I didn’t call in during the day, I had
to go and sleep there at night, because she couldn’t get along
without her little «sweetmeat», as she called me.
On festive occasions, she delighted in dressing me up with
her gold necklace and heavy earrings which hung down below my
shoulders, and a pretty little hat decorated with immense feathers
of different colours and fastened with an array of gold beads. At the
“festas”, there was no one better turned out than I, and how my
sisters and my godmother gloried in the fact! The other children
crowded round me to admire the brilliance of my finery. To tell the
truth, I myself greatly enjoyed the “festa”, and vanity was my worst
adornment. Everybody showed liking and esteem for me, except a
poor orphan girl whom my godmother Teresa had taken into her
home on the death of her mother. She seemed to fear that I would
get part of the inheritance she was hoping for, and indeed she
would not have been mistaken, had not Our Lord destined for me a
far more precious inheritance.
As soon as the news of the Apparitions got around, my godfa-
ther showed unconcern, and my godmother was completely op-
posed to it all. She made no secret of her disapproval of such “in-
ventions”, as she called them. I began, therefore, to keep away
from her house as much as I could. My disappearance was soon
followed by that of the groups of children who so often gathered
there, and whom my godmother loved to watch singing and danc-
ing. She treated them to dried figs, nuts, almonds, chestnuts, fruit,
and so on.
One Sunday afternoon, I was passing near her house with
Francisco and Jacinta, when she called out to us: “Come in, my
little swindlers, come! You’ve not been here for a long time!” Once
inside, she lavished her usual attentions on us. The other children
seemed to guess we were there, and began to come along as well.
My kind godmother, happy at seeing us all gathered in her house
once again after such a long space of time, heaped delicacies upon
us, and wanted to see us sing and dance.
“Come on,” we said, “what will it be, this one, or that?”

My godmother made the choice herself. It was “Congratulations
without illusions”, a part song for boys and girls:


You are the sun of the sphere,

Do not deny it your rays!
These are the smiles of springtime,
Ah! change them not into sighs!

Congratulations to the maiden,

Fragrant as the dewy dawn,
Smiling, you anticipate
The caressing of another morn.

The year is rich in flowers,

Rich in fruits and every good!
And may the year that dawns
Be rich in hopes for you!

These hopes are the best of gifts,

Our warmest wishes for you!
Place them upon your brow,
They’re the finest crown of all!

If the past was lovely,

The future will be so too!
Greetings for the year now gone,
For the year to come as well!

In this merry banquet of life,

Charming Atlantic flower,
The gardener and the garden fair
Are lauded in gladsome song!

Your heart is yearning for the flowers

That bloom on your native soil,
For your home and its purest loves
That entwine around your heart!


Do you think it right, good sir,

When the topsail veers in sight,
That Berlenga and the Carvoeiro 8 – Ah! –
Extinguish their lighthouse beams?

But the sea is lashed to fury:

An everlasting swirling main!
Each night is a howling turmoil
That leads to a watery grave.

Gloomy sandbanks of Papoa, 8

Estelas and Farilhões!
What tragedy ever re-echoes
In the crash of the foaming waves!

Each rugged reef in these waters

Is a grim presage of death!
Every wave chants a doleful dirge
Each cross recalls a wreck!

Then, how can you be so cruel

And put out your light that is life
Way out on the darkened waters
Guiding boats securely ashore.


I no longer shed any tears

When I speak of our farewell,
My hesitating took but a moment – Ah! –
My loss lasts all life through.

Dangerous cliffs on the Atlantic coast of Portugal.

Go and tell heaven to arrest
The flowing torrent of its grace,
Let the flowers wilt and wither
They no longer bespeak your care

Go, I am too disconsolate

My sanctuary all in mourning,
High up in the towering steeple
The bronze bell tolls out death.

But you leave me sad and lonely

In the churchyard grey and grim,
Carved out on the black of your tombstone
I leave my eternal laments.

This garden today is so bare,

But once all smiling and gay,
No care did it lack before,
’Twas the gardener who left it to die.

I trust in Providence bestowing

Tender caresses to come!
Hopefully prepared for everyone,
All who leave the homely nest.

11. Francisco, the Little Moralist

The women of the neighbourhood no sooner heard the lively

singing than they came over to join us, and at the end they asked
us to sing it through again. Francisco, however, came up to me and
said: “Let’s not sing that song any more. Our Lord certainly does
not want us to sing things like that now.” We therefore slipped away
among the other children, and ran off to our favourite well.
To tell the truth, now that I have just finished writing out the
song under obedience, I cover my face with shame. But Your Ex-
cellency, at the request of Rev. Dr. Galamba, has seen fit to order
me to write down the popular songs that we knew. Here they are
then! I do not know why they are wanted, but for me it is enough to
know that I am thus fulfilling God’s will.

Meanwhile, it was getting near Carnival time, in 1918. The boys
and girls met once again that year to prepare the usual festive
meals and fun of those days. Each one brought something from
home – such as olive oil, flour, meat, and so on – to one of the
houses, and the girls then did the cooking for a sumptuous ban-
quet. All those three days, feasting and dancing went on well into
the night, above all on the last day of the Carnival.
The children under fourteen had their own celebration in an-
other house. Several of the girls came to ask me to help them or-
ganize our “festa”. At first, I refused. But finally, I gave in like a
coward, especially after hearing the pleading of José Carreira’s
sons and daughter, for it was he who had placed his home in Casa
Velha at our disposal. He and his wife insistently asked me to go
there. I yielded then, and went with a crowd of youngsters to see
the place. There was a fine large room, almost as big as a hall,
which was well suited for the amusements, and a spacious yard for
the supper! Everything was arranged, and I came home, outwardly
in a most festive mood, but inwardly with my conscience protesting
loudly. As soon as I met Jacinta and Francisco, I told them what
had happened.
“Are you going back again to those parties and games?” Fran-
cisco asked me sternly. “Have you already forgotten that we prom-
ised never to do that any more?”
“ I didn’t want to go at all. But you can see how they never
stopped begging me to go; and now I don’t know what to do!”
There was indeed no end to the entreaties, nor to the number
of girls who came insisting that I play with them. Some even came
from far distant villages – from Moita came Rosa, Ana Caetano and
Ana Brogueira; from Fatima, the two daughters of Manuel Caracol;
from Boleiros (Montelo), the two daughters of Manuel da Ramira,
and two of Joaquim Chapeleta as well; from Amoreira, the two Silva
girls; from Currais, Laura Gato, Josefa Valinho, and several others
whose names I have forgotten; besides those who came from Bo-
leiros and Lomba da Pederneira, and so on; and this quite apart
from all those who came from Eira da Pedra, Casa Velha, and Al-
justrel. How could I so suddenly let down all those girls, who seemed
not to know how to enjoy themselves without my company, and
make them understand that I had to stop going to these gatherings
once and for all? God inspired Francisco with the answer:

“Do you know how you could do it? Everybody knows that Our
Lady has appeared to you. Therefore, you can say that you have
promised her not to dance any more, and for this reason you are
not going! Then, on such days, we can run away and hide in the
cave on the Cabeço. Up there nobody will find us!”
I accepted his proposal, and once I had made my decision,
nobody else thought of organizing any such gathering. God’s bless-
ing was with us. Those friends of mine, who until then sought me
out to have me join in their amusements, now followed my exam-
ple, and came to my home on Sunday afternoons to ask me to go
with them to pray the Rosary in the Cova da Iria.

12. Francisco, Lover of Solitude and Prayer

Francisco was a boy of few words. Whenever he prayed or

offered sacrifices, he preferred to go apart and hide, even from
Jacinta and myself. Quite often, we surprised him hidden behind a
wall or a clump of blackberry bushes, whither he had ingeniously
slipped away to kneel and pray, or “think”, as he said, “of Our Lord,
Who is sad on account of so many sins.”
If I asked him: “Francisco, why don’t you tell me to pray with
you, and Jacinta too?”
“ I prefer praying by myself,” he answered, “so that I can think
and console Our Lord, Who is so sad!”
I asked him one day:
“Francisco, which do you like better – to console Our Lord, or
to convert sinners, so that no more souls will go to hell?”
“I would rather console Our Lord. Didn’t you notice how sad
Our Lady was that last month, when she said that people must not
offend Our Lord any more, for He is already much offended? I would
like to console Our Lord, and after that convert sinners so that they
won’t offend Him any more.”
Sometimes on our way to school, as soon as we reached
Fatima, he would say to me:
“Listen! You go to school, and I’ll stay here in the church, close
to the Hidden Jesus. It’s not worth my while learning to read, as I’ll
be going to Heaven very soon. On your way home, come here and
call me.”

The Blessed Sacrament was kept at that time near the en-
trance of the church, on the left side, as the church was undergoing
repairs. Francisco went over there, between the baptismal font and
the altar, and that was where I found him on my retum.
Later, when he fell ill, he often told me, when I called in to see
him on my way to school: “Look! Go to the church and give my love
to the Hidden Jesus. What hurts me most is that I cannot go there
myself and stay awhile with the Hidden Jesus.”
When I arrived at his house one day, I said goodbye to a
group of school children who had come with me, and I went in
to pay a visit to him and his sister. As he had heard all the noise,
he asked me:
“Did you come with all that crowd?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Don’t go with them, because you might learn to commit sins.
When you come out of school, go and stay for a little while near the
Hidden Jesus, and afterwards come home by yourself.”
On one occasion, I asked him:
“Francisco, do you feel very sick?”
“I do, but I’m suffering to console Our Lord.”
When Jacinta and I went into his room one day, he said to us:
“Don’t talk much today, as my head aches so badly.”
“Don’t forget to make the offering for sinners,” Jacinta re-
minded him.
“Yes. But first I make it to console Our Lord and Our Lady, and
then, afterwards, for sinners and for the Holy Father.”
On another occasion, I found him very happy when I arrived.
“Are you better?”
“No. I feel worse. It won’t be long now till I go to Heaven. When
I’m there, I’m going to console Our Lord and Our Lady very much.
Jacinta is going to pray a lot for sinners, for the Holy Father and for
you. You will stay here, because Our Lady wants it that way. Listen,
you must do everything that she tells you.”
While Jacinta seemed to be solely concerned with the one
thought of converting sinners and saving souls from going to hell,
Francisco appeared to think only of consoling Our Lord and Our
Lady, who had seemed to him to be so sad.

13. Francisco Sees the Devil

How different is the incident that I now call to mind. One day
we went to a place called Pedreira, and while the sheep were brows-
ing, we jumped from rock to rock, making our voices echo down in
the deep ravines. Francisco withdrew, as was his wont, to a hollow
among the rocks.
A considerable time had elapsed, when we heard him shout-
ing and crying out to us and to Our Lady. Distressed lest some-
thing might have happened to him, we ran in search of him, calling
out his name.
“Where are you?”
“Here! Here!”
But it still took us some time before we could locate him. At
last, we came upon him, trembling with fright, still on his knees,
and so upset that he was unable to rise to his feet.
“What’s wrong? What happened to you?”
In a voice half smothered with fright, he replied:
“It was one of those huge beasts that we saw in hell. He was
right here breathing out flames!”
I saw nothing, neither did Jacinta, so I laughed and said to him:
“You never want to think about hell, so as not to be afraid; and
now you’re the first one to be frightened!”
Indeed, whenever Jacinta appeared particularly moved by the
remembrance of hell, he used to say to her:
“Don’t think so much about hell! Think about Our Lord and
Our Lady instead. I don’t think about hell, so as not to be afraid.”
He was anything but fearful. He’d go anywhere in the dark
alone at night, without the slightest hesitation. He played with liz-
ards, and when he came across any snakes he got them to en-
twine themselves round a stick, and even poured sheep’s milk
into the holes in the rocks for them to drink. He went hunting for
foxes’ holes and rabbits’ burrows, for genets, and other creatures
of the wilds.

14. Francisco and His Feathered Friends

Francisco was very fond of birds, and could not bear to see
anyone robbing their nests. He always kept part of the bread he

had for his lunch, breaking it into crumbs and spreading them out
on top of the rocks, so that the birds could eat them. Moving away a
little, he called them, as though he expected them to understand him.
He didn’t want anyone else to approach, lest they be frightened.
“Poor wee things! You are hungry,” he said, as though con-
versing with them. “Come, come and eat!”
And they, keen-eyed as they are, did not wait for the invitation,
but came flocking around him. It was his delight to see them flying
back to the tree tops with their little craws full, singing and chirping
in a deafening chorus, in which Francisco joined with rare skill.
One day we met a little boy carrying in his hand a small bird
that he had caught. Full of compassion, Francisco promised him
two coins, if only he would let the bird fly away. The boy readily agreed.
But first he wished to see the money in his hand. Francisco ran all
the way home from the Carreira pond, which lies a little distance
below the Cova da Iria, to fetch the coins, and so let the little pris-
oner free. Then, as he watched it fly away, he clapped his hands for
joy, and said: “Be careful! Don’t let yourself be caught again.”
Thereabouts, lived an old woman called Ti Maria Carreira,
whose sons sent her out sometimes to take care of their flock of
goats and sheep. The animals were rather wild, and often strayed
away in different directions. Whenever we met Ti Maria in these
straits, Francisco was the first to run to her aid. He helped her to
lead the flock to pasture, chased after the stray ones and gathered
them all together again. The poor old woman overwhelmed Fran-
cisco with her thanks and called him her dear guardian angel.
When we came across any sick people, he was filled with com-
passion and said: “ I can’t bear to see them, as I feel so sorry for
them! Tell them I’ll pray for them.”
One day, they wanted to take us to Montelo to the home of a
man called Joaquim Chapeleta. Francisco did not want to go. “I’m
not going, because I can’t bear to see people who want to speak
and cannot.” (This man’s mother was dumb).
When Jacinta and I returned home at nightfall, I asked my
aunt where Francisco was.
“How do I know!” she replied. “I’m worn out looking for him all
afternoon. Some ladies came and wanted to see you. But you two
were not here. He vanished, and never appeared again. Now you
go and look for him!”

We sat down for a bit on a bench in the kitchen, thinking that
we would go later to the Loca do Cabeço, certain that we would
find him there. But no sooner had my aunt left the house, than his
voice came from the attic through a little hole in the ceiling. He had
climbed up there when he thought that some people were coming.
From this vantage point he had observed everything that happened,
and told us afterwards:
“There were so many people! Heaven help me if they had ever
caught me by myself! What ever would I have said to them?”
(There was a trap-door in the kitchen, which was easily reached
by placing a chair on a table, thus affording access to the attic.)

15. Francisco’s Love and Zeal

As I have already said, my aunt sold her flock before my mother

disposed of ours. From then onwards, before I went out in the morn-
ing, I let Jacinta and Francisco know the place where I was going
to pasture the sheep that day; as soon as they could get away, they
came to join me.
One day, they were waiting for me when I arrived.
“Oh! How did you get here so early?”
“ I came,” answered Francisco, “because – I don’t know why –
being with you didn’t matter much to me before, and I just came
because of Jacinta; but now, I can’t sleep in the morning as I’m so
anxious to be with you.”
Once the Apparitions on each 13th of the month were over, he
said to us on the eve of every following 13th:
“Look! Early tomorrow morning, I’m making my escape out
through the back garden to the cave on the Cabeço. As soon as
you can, come and join me there.”
Oh dear! There I was, writing things about his being sick and
near to death, and now I see that I have gone back to the happy
times we had on the serra, with the birds chirping merrily all around
us. I ask your forgiveness. In writing down what I can remember, I
am like a crab that walks backwards and forwards without bother-
ing about reaching the end of its journey. I leave my work to Dr.
Galamba, in case he can make use of anything in it, though I sup-
pose he will find little or nothing.

I return, therefore, to Francisco’s illness. But, first, I will tell you
something about his brief schooling. He came out of the house one
day and met me with my sister Teresa, who was already married
and living in Lomba. Another woman from a nearby hamlet had
asked her to come to me about her son who had been accused of
some crime which I no longer remember, and if he could not prove
his innocence he was to be condemned, either to exile or to a term
of some years imprisonment. Teresa asked me insistently, in the
name of the poor woman for whom she wished to do such a favour,
to plead for this grace with Our Lady. Having received the mes-
sage, I set out for school, and on the way, I told my cousins all
about it. When we reached Fatima, Francisco said to me:
“Listen! While you go to school, I’ll stay with the Hidden Jesus,
and I’ll ask Him for that grace.”
When I came out of school, I went to call him and asked:
“Did you pray to Our Lord to grant that grace?”
“Yes, I did. Tell your Teresa that he’ll be home in a few days’
And indeed, a few days later, the poor boy returned home. On
the 13th, he and his entire family came to thank Our Lady for the
grace they had received.
On another occasion I noticed, as we left the house, that Fran-
cisco was walking very slowly:
“What’s the matter?” I asked him. “You seem unable to walk!”
“I’ve such a bad headache, and I feel as though I’m going
to fall.”
“Then don’t come. Stay at home!”
“l don’t want to. I’d rather stay in the church with the Hidden
Jesus, while you go to school.”
Francisco was already sick, but could still manage to walk a
little, so one day I went with him to the cave on the Cabeço, and to
Valinhos. On our return home, we found the house full of people. A
poor woman was standing near a table, pretending to bless innu-
merable pious objects: rosary beads, medals, crucifixes and so on.
Jacinta and I were soon surrounded by a crowd of people who
wanted to question us. Francisco was seized upon by the would-be
‘blesser’, who invited him to help her.
“l could not give a blessing,” he replied very seriously, “and
neither should you! Only priests do that.”

The little boy’s words went round the crowd like lightning, as
though spoken by some loud-speaker, and the poor woman had to
make a quick departure amid a hail of insults from the people, all
demanding back the objects they had just handed over to her.
I already related in my account of Jacinta, how he managed to
go one day to the Cova da Iria; how he wore the rope and then
handed it back to me; how he was the first, on a day when the heat
was suffocating, to offer the sacrifice of not taking a drink; and how
he sometimes reminded his sister about suffering for sinners, and
so on. I presume, therefore, that it is not necessary to repeat these
things here.
One day, I was by his bedside, keeping him company. Jacinta,
who had got up for a while, was there too. Suddenly, his sister Teresa
came to warn us that a veritable multitude of people were coming
down the road, and were obviously looking for us. As soon as she
had gone out, I said to Francisco: “AIright! You two wait for them
here. I’m going to hide.”
Jacinta managed to run out behind me, and we both succeeded
in concealing ourselves inside a barrel which was overturned just
outside the door leading to the back garden. It was not long before
we heard the noise of people searching the house, going out through
the garden and even standing right beside the barrel; but we were
saved by the fact that its open end was turned in the opposite di-
When we felt that they had all gone away, we came out of our
hiding place, and went to rejoin Francisco, who told us all that had
“There were so many people and they wanted me to tell them
where you were, but I didn’t know myself. They wished to see us
and ask us lots of things. Besides that, there was a woman from
Alqueidão, who wanted the cure of a sick person and the conver-
sion of a sinner. I’ll pray for that woman, and you pray for the others
– there’s such a lot of them.”
Shortly after Francisco’s death, this woman came to see us,
and asked me to show her his grave. She wished to go there and
thank him for the two graces for which she had asked him to pray.
One day, we were just outside Aljustrel, on our way to the Cova
da Iria, when a group of people came upon us by surprise around
the bend in the road. In order the better to see and hear us, they set

Jacinta and myself on top of a wall. Francisco refused to let himself
be put there, as though he were afraid of falling. Then, little by little,
he edged his way out and leaned against a dilapidated wall on the
opposite side. A poor woman and her son, seeing that they could
not manage to speak to us personally, as they wished, went and
knelt down in front of Francisco. They begged him to obtain from
Our Lady the grace that the father of the family would be cured and
that he would not have to go to the war. Francisco knelt down also,
took off his cap and asked if they would like to pray the Rosary with
him. They said they would, and began to pray. Very soon, all those
people stopped asking curious questions, and also went down on
their knees to pray. After that, they went with us to the Cova da Iria,
reciting a Rosary along the way. Once there, we said another Ro-
sary, and then they went away, quite happy.
The poor woman promised to come back and thank Our Lady
for the graces she had asked for, if they were granted. She came
back several times, accompanied not only by her son but also her
husband, who had by now recovered. They came from the parish
of S. Mamede, and we called them the Casaleiros.

16. Francisco’s Illness

While he was ill, Francisco always appeared joyful and con-

tent. I asked him sometimes:
“Are you suffering a lot, Francisco?”
“Quite a lot, but never mind! l am suffering to console Our
Lord, and afterwards, within a short time, I am going to Heaven!”
“Once you get there, don’t forget to ask Our Lady to take me
there soon as well.”
“That, I won’t ask! You know very well that she doesn’t want
you there yet.”
The day before he died, he said to me:
“Look! I am very ill; it won’t be long now before I go to Heaven.”
“Then listen to this. When you’re there, don’t forget to pray a
great deal for sinners, for the Holy Father, for me and for Jacinta.”
“Yes, I’ll pray. But look, you’d better ask Jacinta to pray for
these things instead, because I’m afraid I’ll forget when I see Our
Lord. And then, more than anything else I want to console Him.”

One day, early in the morning, his sister Teresa came looking
for me.
“Come quickly to our house! Francisco is very bad, and says
he wants to tell you something.”
I dressed as fast as I could and went over there. He asked his
mother and brothers and sisters to leave the room, saying that he
wanted to ask me a secret. They went out, and he said to me:
“ I am going to confession so that I can receive Holy Com-
munion, and then die. I want you to tell me if you have seen me
commit any sin, and then go and ask Jacinta if she has seen me
commit any.”
“You disobeyed your mother a few times,’’ I answered, “when
she told you to stay at home, and you ran off to be with me or to go
and hide.”
“That’s true. I remember that. Now go and ask Jacinta if she
remembers anything else.”
I went, and Jacinta thought for a while, then answered:
“Well, tell him that, before Our Lady appeared to us, he stole a
coin from our father to buy a music box from José Marto of Casa
Velha; and when the boys from Aljustrel threw stones at those from
Boleiros he threw some too!”
When I gave him this message from his sister, he answered:
“I’ve already confessed those, but I’ll do so again. Maybe, it is
because of these sins that I committed that Our Lord is so sad! But
even if I don’t die, I’ll never commit them again. I’m heartily sorry for
them now.” Joining his hands, he recited the prayer: “O my Jesus,
forgive us, save us from the fire of hell, lead all souls to Heaven,
especially those who are most in need.”
Then he said: “Now listen, you must also ask Our Lord to for-
give me my sins.”
“I’ll ask that, don’t worry. If Our Lord had not forgiven them
already, Our Lady would not have told Jacinta the other day that
she was coming soon to take you to Heaven. Now, I’m going to
Mass, and there I’ll pray to the Hidden Jesus for you.”
“Then, please ask Him to let the parish priest give me Holy
“I certainly will.”
When I returned from the church, Jacinta had already got up
and was sitting on his bed. As soon as Francisco saw me, he asked:

“Did you ask the Hidden Jesus that the parish priest would
give me Holy Communion?”
“I did.”
“Then, in Heaven, I’ll pray for you.”
“You will? The other day, you said you wouldn’t!”
“That was about taking you there very soon. But if you want
me to pray for that, I will, and then let Our Lady do as she wishes.”
“Yes, do. You pray.”
“Alright. Don’t worry, I’ll pray.”
Then I left them, and went off to my usual daily tasks of les-
sons and work. When I came home at night, I found him radiant
with joy. He had made his confession, and the parish priest had
promised to bring him Holy Communion next day.
On the following day, after receiving Holy Communion, he said
to his sister:
“ I am happier than you are, because I have the Hidden Jesus
within my heart. I’m going to Heaven, but I’m going to pray very
much to Our Lord and Our Lady for them to bring you both there
Jacinta and I spent almost the whole of that day at his bed-
side. As he was already unable to pray, he asked us to pray the
Rosary for him. Then he said to me:
“ I am sure I shall miss you terribly in Heaven. If only Our Lady
would bring you there soon, also!”
“You won’t miss me! Just imagine! And you right there with
Our Lord and Our Lady! They are so goodl”
“That’s true! Perhaps, I won’t remember!”
And now I add: “Perhaps he did forget! But never mind!”

17. Francisco’s Holy Death

That night I said goodbye to him.

“Goodbye, Francisco! If you go to Heaven tonight, don’t forget
me when you get there, do you hear me?”
“No, I wont forget. Be sure of that.” Then, seizing my right hand,
he held it tightly for a long time, looking at me with tears in his eyes.
“Do you want anything more?” I asked him, with tears running
down my cheeks too.

“No!” he answered in a low voice, quite overcome.
As the scene was becoming so moving, my aunt told me to
leave the room.
“Goodbye then, Francisco! Till we meet in Heaven, goodbye!...”
Heaven was drawing near. He took his flight to Heaven the
following day in the arms of his heavenly Mother 9. I could never
describe how much I missed him. This grief was a thorn that pierced
my heart for years to come. It is a memory of the past that echoes
forever unto eternity.

’Twas night: I lay peacefully dreaming

That on this festive longed-for day
Of heavenly union, the Angels above
Vied with us here in holy emulation!

What golden crown beyond all telling,

What garland of flowers garnered here below
Could equal the crown heaven was offering
Angelic beauty, all earthly longing stilled.

The joy, the smile, of our loving Mother

In the heavenly realms, he lives in God
Ravished with love, with joys surpassing,
Those years on earth were so swift, so fleeting...

18. Popular Songs

As Dr. Galamba has asked for the words of popular songs, I

have already written some of them in the course of my account of
Francisco. Before I embark on another subject, I am going to put
down some more of these songs here, so that His Reverence may
choose among them, if perchance he may be able to make use of
them for whatever purpose he has in mind.

The following day was the 4th of April, 1919.


Mountain maid, mountain maid,

With eyes of chestnut hue,
Who gave you, sweet mountain maid
Such charms beyond compare?
Such charms beyond compare!
I’ve never seen the like!
Mountain maid, mountain maid
Look kindly on me,
Look kindly on me,
Mountain maid, mountain maid,
Look kindly on me!

Mountain maid, mountain maid

With billowing skirt,
How come, sweet mountain maid,
So elegant you are?
So elegant you are,
I’ve never seen the like!

(Repeat chorus as above)

Mountain maid, mountain maid,

In the rosy flush of youth
Who gave you, sweet mountain maid
That bloom beyond compare?
That bloom beyond compare,
I’ve never seen the like!


Mountain maid, mountain maid,

All bedecked in gold,
Who gave you, sweet mountain maid
Your gaily twirling skirt?
Your gaily twirling skirt, I’ve never seen the like!



If you go up to the serra,

Go with easy tread!
Take care not to lose your foothold
And fall down a deep ravine,
And fall down a deep ravine.
Indeed I could never tumble,
For all the mountain lasses
Will come flocking to my aid,
Will come flocking to my aid.
Whether you will it, or will it not
Sweet lasses, my heart’s all yours!

They’ll come flocking to my aid,

They’ll take good care of me:
Merry mountain lasses,
How good it is to love you,
How good it is to love you,
Whether you will it, or will it not,
Sweet lasses, my heart’s all yours!



Now, Your Excellency, we come to the most difficult part of all

that you have commanded me to put in writing. First of all, Your
Excellency has expressly required of me to write about the Appari-
tions of the Angel, putting down every circumstance and detail,
and even, as far as possible, their interior effects upon us. Then,
along comes Dr. Galamba to ask you to command me also to write
about the Apparitions of Our Lady.
“Command her, Your Excellency,” he said a little while ago in
Valença. “Yes, Your Excellency, command her to write everything,
absolutely everything. She’ll have to do the rounds of purgatory
many a time for having kept silent about so many things!”

As for purgatory, I am not in the least afraid of it, from this point
of view. I have always obeyed, and obedience deserves neither
penalty nor punishment. Firstly, I obeyed the interior inspirations of
the Holy Spirit, and secondly, I obeyed the commands of those
who spoke to me in His name. This very thing was the first order
and counsel which God deigned to give me through Your Excel-
lency. Happy and content, I recalled the words I had heard long
ago from the lips of that holy priest, the Vicar of Torres Novas:
“The secret of the King’s daughter should remain hidden in the
depths of her heart.” Then, beginning to penetrate their meaning,
I said: “My secret is for myself.” But now, I can no longer say so.
Immolated on the altar of obedience, I say rather: “My secret be-
longs to God. I have placed it in His hands; may He do with it as
best pleases Him.”
Dr. Galamba said then: “Your Excellency, command her to say
everything, everything, and to hide nothing.” And Your Excellency,
assisted most certainly by the Holy Spirit, pronounced this judge-
ment: “No, I will not command that! I will have nothing to do with
matters of secrets.” 10
Thanks be to God! Any other order would have been for me a
source of endless perplexities and scruples. Had I received a con-
trary command, I would have asked myself, times without number:
“Whom should I obey? God or His representative?” And perhaps,
being unable to come to a decision, I would have been left in a
state of real inner torment!
Then Your Excellency continued speaking in God’s name: “Sis-
ter, write down the Apparitions of the Angel and of Our Lady, be-
cause, my dear Sister, this is for the glory of God and of Our Lady.”
How good God is! He is the God of peace, and it is along
paths of peace that He leads those who trust in Him.
I shall begin, then, my new task, and thus fulfil the commands
received from Your Excellency as well as the desires of Rev. Dr.
Galamba. With the exception of that part of the Secret which I am
not permitted to reveal at present, I shall say everything. I shall not
knowingly omit anything, though I suppose I may forget just a few
small details of minor importance.

This is the reason why Lucia does not write down the third part of the secret

1. Apparitions of the Angel

Although I cannot give the exact date, it seems to me that it

was in 1915 that the first Apparition took place. As far as I can
judge, it was the Angel, although at that time he did not venture to
make himself fully known. From what I can recall of the weather, I
think that this must have happened between the months of April
and October in the year 1915.
My three companions from Casa Velha, by name Teresa
Matias and her sister Maria Rosa, and Maria Justino, were with
me on the southern slope of the Cabeço. We were just about to
start praying the Rosary when I saw, poised in the air above the
trees that stretched down to the valley which lay at our feet, what
appeared to be a cloud in human form, whiter than snow and al-
most transparent. My companions asked me what it was. I replied
that I did not know. This happened on two further occasions, but
on different days.
This Apparition made a certain impression upon me, which I
do not know how to explain. Little by little, this impression faded
away, and were it not for the events that followed, I think I would
have forgotten it completely.
The dates I cannot set down with certainty, because, at that
time, I did not know how to reckon the years, the months, or even
the days of the week. But I think it must have been in the spring of
1916 that the Angel appeared to us for the first time in our Loca do
As I have already written in my account of Jacinta, we climbed
the hillside in search of shelter. After having taken our lunch and
said our prayers, we began to see, some distance off, above the
trees that stretched away towards the east, a light, whiter than snow,
in the form of a young man, transparent, and brighter than crystal
pierced by the rays of the sun. As he drew nearer, we could distin-
guish his features more and more clearly. We were surprised, ab-
sorbed, and struck dumb with amazement.
On reaching us, he said:
“Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.”
Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead
touched the earth. Led by a supernatural impulse, we did the same,
and repeated the words which we heard him say:

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon
of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and
do not love You!”
Having repeated these words three times, he rose and said:
“Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the
voice of your supplications.” Then he disappeared.
The supernatural atmosphere which enveloped us was so in-
tense, that we were for a long time scarcely aware of our own exist-
ence, remaining in the same posture in which he had left us, and
continually repeating the same prayer. The presence of God made
itself felt so intimately and so intensely that we did not even ven-
ture to speak to one another. Next day, we were still immersed in
this spiritual atmosphere, which only gradually began to disappear.
It did not occur to us to speak about this Apparition, nor did we
think of recommending that it be kept secret. The very Apparition
itself imposed secrecy. It was so intimate, that it was not easy to
speak of it at all. The impression it made upon us was all the greater
perhaps, in that it was the first such manifestation that we had ex-
The second Apparition must have been at the height of sum-
mer, when the heat of the day was so intense that we had to take
the sheep home before noon and only let them out again in the
early evening.
We went to spend the siesta hours in the shade of the trees
which surrounded the well that I have already mentioned several
times. Suddenly, we saw the same Angel right beside us.
“What are you doing?” he asked. “Pray! Pray very much! The
Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer
prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.”
“How are we to make sacrifices?” I asked.
“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as
an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in
supplication for the conversion of sinners. You will thus draw down
peace upon your country. I am its Angel Guardian, the Angel of
Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with submission, the suffering
which the Lord will send you.”
These words were indelibly impressed upon our minds. They
were like a light which made us understand who God is, how He

loves us and desires to be loved, the value of sacrifice, how pleas-
ing it is to Him and how, on account of it, He grants the grace of
conversion to sinners. It was for this reason that we began, from
then on, to offer to the Lord all that mortified us, without, however,
seeking out other forms of mortification and penance, except that
we remained for hours on end with our foreheads touching the
ground, repeating the prayer the Angel had taught us.
It seems to me that the third Apparition must have been in
October, or towards the end of September, as we were no longer
returning home for siesta.
As I have already written in my account of Jacinta, we went
one day from Pregueira (a small olive grove belonging to my par-
ents) to the Lapa, making our way along the slope of the hill on the
side facing Aljustrel and Casa Velha. We said our Rosary there
and the prayer the Angel had taught us at the first Apparition.
While we were there, the Angel appeared to us for the third
time, holding a chalice in his hands, with a host above it from which
some drops of blood were falling into the sacred vessel. Leaving
the chalice and the host suspended in the air, the Angel prostrated
on the ground and repeated this prayer three times:
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You
profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul
and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the
world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference
with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits
of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg
of You the conversion of poor sinners.”
Then, rising, he once more took the chalice and the host in his
hands. He gave the host to me, and to Jacinta and Francisco he
gave the contents of the chalice to drink, saying as he did so: “Take
and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by
ungrateful men. Repair their crimes and console your God.” Once
again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with us three
times more, the same prayer “Most Holy Trinity...”, and then disap-
Impelled by the power of the supernatural that enveloped us,
we imitated all that the Angel had done, prostrating ourselves on
the ground as he did and repeating the prayers that he said. The
force of the presence of God was so intense that it absorbed us

and almost completely annihilated us. It seemed to deprive us even
of the use of our bodily senses for a considerable length of time.
During those days, we performed all our exterior actions as though
guided by that same supernatural being who was impelling us
thereto. The peace and happiness which we felt were great, but
wholly interior, for our souls were completely immersed in God.
The physical exhaustion that came over us was also great.

2. Lucia’s Silence

I do not know why, but the Apparitions of Our Lady produced

in us very different effects. We felt the same intimate joy, the same
peace and happiness, but instead of physical prostration, an ex-
pansive ease of movement; instead of this annihilation in the Di-
vine Presence, a joyful exultation; instead of the difficulty in speak-
ing, we felt a certain communicative enthusiasm. Despite these
feelings, however, we felt inspired to be silent, especially concern-
ing certain things.
Whenever I was interrogated, I experienced an interior inspi-
ration which directed me how to answer, without either failing in
truth or revealing what should remain hidden for the time being. In
this respect, I still have just this one doubt: “Should I not have said
everything in the canonical enquiry?” But I have no scruples about
having kept silence, because at that time I had as yet no realiza-
tion of the importance of this particular interrogation. I regarded it,
at the time, as being just like the many other interrogations to which
I was accustomed. The only thing I thought strange was the order
to take the oath. But as it was my confessor who told me to do so,
and as I was swearing to the truth, I took the oath without any
difficulty. Little did I suspect, at that moment, that the devil would
make the most of this, in order to torment me with endless scru-
ples later on. But, thank God, all that is over now.
There was yet another reason which confirmed me in my con-
viction that I did well to remain silent. In the course of the canonical
enquiry, one of the interrogators, Rev. Dr. Marques dos Santos,
thought he could extend somewhat his questionnaire, and began
therefore to ask more searching questions. Before answering, I
looked enquiringly at my confessor. His Reverence saved me from

my predicament, and answered on my behalf. He reminded the
interrogator that he was exceeding his rights in this matter.
Almost the same thing happened when I was questioned by
Rev. Dr. Fischer. He had the authorization of Your Excellency and
of Rev. Mother Provincial, and seemed to have the right to ques-
tion me on everything. But, thank God, he came accompanied by
my confessor. At a given moment, he put to me a carefully studied
question about the Secret. I felt perplexed, and did not know how
to answer. I glanced towards my confessor; he understood me and
answered for me. The interrogator understood also, and confined
himself to picking up some magazines Iying nearby and holding
them in front of my face. In this way, God was showing me that the
moment appointed by Him had not yet arrived.
I shall now go on to write about the Apparitions of Our Lady. I
shall not delay over the circumstances that preceded or followed them,
since Rev. Dr. Galamba has kindly dispensed me from doing so.

3. The 13th of May, 1917

High up on the slope in the Cova da Iria, I was playing with

Jacinta and Francisco at building a little stone wall around a clump
of furze. Suddenly we saw what seemed to be a flash of lightning.
“We’d better go home,” I said to my cousins, “that’s lightning;
we may have a thunderstorm.”
“Yes, indeed!” they answered.
We began to go down the slope, hurrying the sheep along
towards the road. We were more or less half-way down the slope,
and almost level with a large holmoak tree that stood there, when
we saw another flash of lightning. We had only gone a few steps
further when, there before us on a small holmoak, we beheld a
Lady all dressed in white. She was more brilliant than the sun, and
radiated a light more clear and intense than a crystal glass filled with
sparkling water, when the rays of the burning sun shine through it.
We stopped, astounded, before the Apparition. We were so
close, just a few feet from her, that we were bathed in the light
which surrounded her, or rather, which radiated from her. Then Our
Lady spoke to us:
“Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm.”
“Where are you from?”

“I am from Heaven.”
“What do you want of me?”
“I have come to ask you to come here for six months in suc-
cession, on the 13th day, at this same hour. Later on, I will tell you
who I am and what I want. Afterwards, I will return here yet a sev-
enth time.” 11
“Shall I go to Heaven too?”
“Yes, you will”
“And Jacinta?”
“She will go also.”
“And Francisco?”
“He will go there too, but he must say many Rosaries.”
Then I remembered to ask about two girls who had died re-
cently. They were friends of mine and used to come to my home to
learn weaving with my eldest sister.
“Is Maria das Neves in Heaven?”
“Yes, she is.” (I think she was about 16 years old).
“And Amélia?”
“She will be in purgatory until the end of the world.” 12 (It seems
to me that she was between 18 and 20 years of age).
“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the
sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins
by which He is offended, and of supplication for the conversion of
“Yes, we are willing.”
“Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of
God will be your comfort.”
As she pronounced these last words “...the grace of God will
be your comfort”, Our Lady opened her hands for the first time,
communicating to us a light so intense that, as it streamed from
her hands, its rays penetrated our hearts and the innermost depths
of our souls, making us see ourselves in God, Who was that light,
more clearly than we see ourselves in the best of mirrors. Then,
moved by an interior impulse that was also communicated to us,
we fell on our knees, repeating in our hearts:

This “seventh time”, refers to the 16th of June, 1921, on the eve of Lucia’s
departure to Vilar de Oporto. It was an apparition with a personal message
for Lucia, which, therefore, was not revealed.
This could mean “a long time”.

“O most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You
in the most Blessed Sacrament!”
After a few moments, Our Lady spoke again:
“Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the
world, and the end of the war.”
Then she began to rise serenely, going up towards the east,
until she disappeared in the immensity of space. The light that sur-
rounded her seemed to open up a path before her in the firma-
ment, and for this reason we sometimes said that we saw heaven
I think that I have already explained in my account of Jacinta,
or else in a letter, that the fear which we felt was not really fear of
Our Lady, but rather fear of the thunderstorm which we thought
was coming, and it was from this that we sought to escape. The
Apparitions of Our Lady inspired neither fear nor fright, but rather
surprise. When I was asked if I had experienced fear, and I said
that we had, I was referring to the fear we felt when we saw the
flashes of lightning and thought that a thunderstorm was at hand. It
was from this that we wished to escape, as we were used to see-
ing lightning only when it thundered. Besides, the flashes of light-
ning were not really lightning, but the reflected rays of a light which
was approaching. It was because we saw the light, that we some-
times said we saw Our Lady coming; but, properly speaking, we
only perceived Our Lady in that light when she was already on the
holmoak tree. The fact that we did not know how to explain this,
and that we wished to avoid questions, caused us to say some-
times that we saw her coming, and other times that we did not.
When we said we saw her coming, we were referring to the ap-
proach of the light, which after all was herself. And when we said
we did not see her coming, we were referring to the fact that we
really saw Our Lady only when she was on the holmoak.

4. The 13th of June, 1917

As soon as Jacinta, Francisco and I had finished praying the

Rosary, with a number of other people who were present, we saw
once more the flash reflecting the light which was approaching
(which we called lightning). The next moment, Our Lady was there
on the holmoak, exactly the same as in May.

“What do you want of me?” I asked.
“ I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray
the Rosary every day, and to learn to read. Later, I will tell you what
I want.”
I asked for the cure of a sick person.
“ lf he is converted, he will be cured during the year.”
“I would like to ask you to take us to Heaven.”
“Yes. I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay
here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make
me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to
my Immaculate Heart.” 13
“Am I to stay here alone?” I asked, sadly.
“No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don’t lose
heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your
refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands
and for the second time, she communicated to us the rays of that
same immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were,
immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part
of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was
poured out on the earth. In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right
hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We under-
stood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the
sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.
You know now, Your Excellency, what we referred to when we
said that Our Lady had revealed a secret to us in June. At the time,
Our Lady did not tell us to keep it secret, but we felt moved to do so
by God.

5. The 13th of July, 1917

A few moments after arriving at the Cova da Iria, near the

holmoak, where a large number of people were praying the Ro-
sary, we saw the flash of light once more, and a moment later Our
Lady appeared on the holmoak.
Because she was in a hurry, Lucia omitted the end of the paragraph which, in
other documents, reads as follows. “l promise salvation to those who embrace
it, and those souls will be loved by God like flowers placed by me to adorn His

“What do you want of me?” I asked.
“ I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, to con-
tinue to pray the Rosary every day in honour of Our Lady of the
Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the
war, because only she can help you.”
“ I would like to ask you to tell us who you are, and to work a
miracle so that everybody will believe that you are appearing to us.”
“Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you
who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see
and believe.”
I then made some requests, but I cannot recall now just what
they were. What I do remember is that Our Lady said it was neces-
sary for such people to pray the Rosary in order to obtain these
graces during the year. And she continued:
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, es-
pecially whenever you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love
of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins
committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands
once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The
rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were
a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human
form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished
bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air
by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great
clouds of smoke now falling back on every side like sparks in huge
fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of
pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear.
(It must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as peo-
ple say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by
their terrifying and repellent likeness to frighfful and unknown ani-
mals, black and transparent like burning coals. Terrified and as if to
plead for succour, we looked up at Our Lady, who said to us, so
kindly and so sadly:
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To
save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my
Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be
saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if peo-
ple do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during

the pontificate of Pius Xl. When you see a night illumined by an
unknown light 14, know that this is the great sign given you by God
that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war,
famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of
Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Repar-
ation on the First Saturdays 15. If my requests are heeded, Russia
will be converted, and there will be peace 16; if not, she will spread
her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of
the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have
much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my
Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate
Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will
be granted to the world. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will
always be preserved; etc... Do not tell this to anybody. Francisco,
yes, you may tell him.
“When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: O my
Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to
Heaven, especially those who are most in need.”
After this, there was a moment of silence, and then I asked:
“Is there anything more that you want of me?”
“No, I do not want anything more of you today.”
Then, as before Our Lady began to ascend towards the
east, until she finally disappeared in the immense distance of
the firmament.

6. The 13th of August, 1917

As I have already said what happened on this day, I will not

delay over it here, but pass on to the Apparition which in my opin-
ion, took place on the 15th in the afternoon 17. As at that time I did

This was the aurora borealis on the night of January 25th to 26th, 1938,
which was unusual, and always regarded by Lucia as the God-given sign
which had been promised.
See Appendix 1.
See Appendix 2.
Lucia is mistaken in thinking that the Apparition happened on the same day
on which they returned from the prison at Vila Nova de Ourém. This was not
correct. The Apparition took place on the following Sunday,19th August.

not yet know how to reckon the days of the month, it could be that I
am mistaken. But I still have an idea that it took place on the very
day that we arrived back from Vila Nova de Ourém.
I was accompanied by Francisco and his brother John. We
were with the sheep in a place called Valinhos, when we felt some-
thing supernatural approaching and enveloping us. Suspecting
that Our Lady was about to appear to us, and feeling sorry lest
Jacinta might miss seeing her, we asked her brother to go and call
her. As he was unwilling to go, I offered him two small coins, and off
he ran.
Meanwhile, Francisco and I saw the flash of light, which we
called lightning. Jacinta arrived, and a moment later, we saw Our
Lady on a holmoak tree.
“What do you want of me?”
“ I want you to continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th,
and to continue praying the Rosary every day. In the last month, I
will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”
“What do you want done with the money that the people leave
in the Cova da Iria?”
“Have two litters made. One is to be carried by you and Jacinta
and two other girls dressed in white; the other one is to be carried
by Francisco and three other boys. The money from the litters is for
the “festa” of Our Lady of the Rosary, and what is left over will help
towards the construction of a chapel that is to be built here.”
“I would like to ask you to cure some sick persons.”
“Yes, I will cure some of them during the year.”
Then, looking very sad, Our Lady said:
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many
souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves
and to pray for them.”
And She began to ascend as usual towards the east.

7. The 13th of September, 1917

As the hour approached, I set out with Jacinta and Francisco,

but owing to the crowds around us we could only advance with
difficulty. The roads were packed with people, and everyone wanted
to see us and speak to us. There was no human respect whatso-
ever. Simple folk, and even ladies and gentlemen, struggled to break

through the crowd that pressed around us. No sooner had they
reached us than they threw themselves on their knees before us,
begging us to place their petitions before Our Lady. Others who
could not get close to us shouted from a distance:
“For the love of God, ask Our Lady to cure my son who is a
cripple!” Yet another cried out: “And to cure mine who is blind!... To
cure mine who is deaf!... To bring back my husband, my son, who
has gone to the war!... To convert a sinner!... To give me back my
health as I have tuberculosis!” and so on.
All the afflictions of poor humanity were assembled there. Some
climbed up to the tops of trees and walls to see us go by, and
shouted down to us. Saying yes to some, giving a hand to others
and helping them up from the dusty ground, we managed to move
forward, thanks to some gentlemen who went ahead and opened
a passage for us through the multitude.
Now, when I read in the New Testament about those enchanting
scenes of Our Lord’s passing through Palestine, I think of those
which Our Lord allowed me to witness, while yet a child, on the
poor roads and lanes from Aljustrel to Fatima and on to the Cova
da Iria! I give thanks to God, offering Him the faith of our good
Portuguese people, and I think: “If these people so humbled them-
selves before three poor children, just because they were merci-
fully granted the grace to speak to the Mother of God, what would
they not do if they saw Our Lord Himself in person before them?”
Well, none of this was called for here! It was a distraction of
my pen, leading me away where I did not mean to go. But, never
mind! It’s just another useless digression. I am not tearing it out, so
as not to spoil the notebook.
At last, we arrived at the Cova da Iria, and on reaching the
holmoak we began to say the Rosary with the people. Shortly aft-
erwards, we saw the flash of light, and then Our Lady appeared on
the holmoak.
“Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the
war. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Dolours
and Our Lady of Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child
Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices. He
does not want you to sleep with the rope on, but only to wear it
during the daytime.”

“I was told to ask you many things, the cure of some sick
people, of a deaf-mute...”
“Yes,I will cure some, but not others. In October I will perform a
miracle so that all may believe.”
Then Our Lady began to rise as usual, and disappeared.

8. The 13th of October, 1917

We left home quite early, expecting that we would be delayed

along the way. Masses of people thronged the roads. The rain fell
in torrents. My mother, her heart torn with uncertainty as to what
was going to happen, and fearing it would be the last day of my life,
wanted to accompany me.
On the way, the scenes of the previous month, still more nu-
merous and moving, were repeated. Not even the muddy roads
could prevent these people from kneeling in the most humble and
suppliant of attitudes. We reached the holmoak in the Cova da Iria.
Once there, moved by an interior impulse, I asked the people to
shut their umbrellas and say the Rosary. A little later, we saw the
flash of light, and then Our Lady appeared on the holmoak.
“What do you want of me?”
“ I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honour.
I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary
every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return
to their homes.”
“I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick persons,
the conversion of sinners, and other things...”
“Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and
ask forgiveness for their sins.”
Looking very sad, Our Lady said:
“Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is
already so much offended.”
Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect on the sun,
and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to
be projected on the sun itself.
Here, Your Excellency, is the reason why I cried out to the
people to look at the sun. My aim was not to call their attention to
the sun, because I was not even aware of their presence. I was
moved to do so under the guidance of an interior impulse.

After Our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of
the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our
Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph
and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced
the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this ap-
parition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to
me that it was Our Lady of Dolours. Our Lord appeared to bless the
world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition
also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resem-
bling Our Lady of Carmel.


Here then, Your Excellency, you have the story of the Appari-
tions of Our Lady in the Cova da Iria, in 1917. Whenever and for
whatever motive I had to speak of them, I sought to do so in as few
words as possible, with the desire of keeping to myself alone those
more intimate aspects which were so difficult for me to reveal. But
as they belong to God and not to me, and as He now, through Your
Excellency, requires them of me, here they are. I return what does
not belong to me. To the best of my knowledge, I keep nothing
back. I think I have only omitted some minor details referring to the
petitions which I made. As these were merely material things, I did
not attach such great importance to them, and it is perhaps be-
cause of this that they did not make such a vivid impression on my
mind; and then there were so many of them, so very many! It was
possibly because I was so anxious to remember the innumerable
graces that I had to ask of Our Lady, that I was mistaken when I
understood that the war would end on that very 13th 18.
Not a few people have expressed considerable surprise at the
memory that God has deigned to give me. In this matter indeed I
have, through His infinite goodness, been quite favoured in every
respect. Where supernatural things are concerned, this is not to be
wondered at, for these are imprinted on the mind in such a way
that it is almost impossible to forget them.

Lucia did not really mean to say that the war would be over on the same
day; she was led to do so by the many pressing questions she was asked.

At least, the meaning of what is made known is never forgot-
ten unless it be that God also wills that this too be forgotten.


1. A Wonderful Cure

Furthermore, Rev. Dr. Galamba has asked me to write down

any other favour that may have been obtained by means of Jacinta.
I have given the matter some thought and can recall only two in-
I spoke of Senhora Emilia in the second account of Jacinta.
The first time that this kind lady came to take me to the priest’s
house in Olival, Jacinta went there with me. When we reached the
village where that good widow lived, it was already night. In spite of
this, news of our arrival quickly spread abroad, and Senhora Emilia’s
house was soon surrounded by a crowd of people. They all wanted
to see us, question us, ask for graces, and so on.
It happened that a certain devout woman from a little village
nearby was accustomed to recite the Rosary in her own home, in
company with any of the neighbours who wished to join her. She,
therefore, invited us to go and pray the Rosary in her house. We
sought to excuse ourselves, explaining that we were going to say it
with Senhora Emilia, but she spoke so insistently that there was
nothing to do but to yield to her request. When the news went round
that we were going there, crowds of people hurried to the good
woman’s house in the hope of securing a good place. This was all
the better for us, since we found the road comparatively free.
On our way to the house, a girl about twenty years old came
out to meet us. Weeping, she knelt down, and begged us to enter
her house and say at least one Hail Mary for the recovery of her
father, who for three years had been unable to take any rest, on
account of continual hiccoughs. In such circumstances, it was im-
possible to resist. I helped the poor girl to her feet. As it was al-
ready late into the night, and we were finding our way along by the
light of lanterns, I therefore told Jacinta to remain there, while I
went on ahead to pray the Rosary with the people, promising to
call for her on my return. She agreed. When I came back I, too,
went into the house. I found Jacinta sitting on a chair, facing a man

who was also seated. He was not so very old but he looked emaci-
ated, and he was weeping with emotion. Some persons were gath-
ered around him, members of his family, I should think. On seeing
me Jacinta got up, said goodbye and promised that she would not
forget him in her prayers. Then we returned to Senhora Emilia’s
Early next morning, we set out for Olival, and only came back
three days later. When we reached Senhora Emilia’s house, there
we found the happy girl accompanied by her father. He now looked
much better, and had lost all trace of nervous strain and extreme
weakness. They came to thank us for the grace they had received
for, they said, he was no longer troubled by the annoying hiccoughs.

2. The Prodigal Son

The other favour was received by an aunt of mine called Vitoria,

who was married and lived in Fatima. She had a son who was a
real prodigal. I do not know the reason, but he left his father’s house,
and no one knew what had become of him. In her distress, my aunt
came to Aljustrel one day to ask me to pray to Our Lady for this son
of hers. Not finding me, she asked Jacinta instead, who promised
to pray for him. A few days later, he suddenly returned home, asked
his parents’ forgiveness, and then went to Aljustrel to relate his
sorry story.
He told us that, after having spent all that he had stolen from
his parents, he wandered about for quite a while like a tramp until,
for some reason I have now forgotten, he was put in jail at Torres
Novas. After he had been there for some time, he succeeded in
escaping one night and fled to the remote hills and unfamiliar pine
groves. Realizing he had completely lost his way, and torn between
the fear of being captured and the darkness of a stormy night, he
found that his only recourse was prayer. Falling on his knees, he
began to pray. Some minutes had passed, he affirmed, when Jacinta
appeared to him, took him by the hand and led him to the main
road which runs from Alqueidão to Reguengo, making a sign for
him to continue in that direction. When morning dawned, he found
himself on the road to Boleiros. Recognizing the place where he
was, he was overcome with emotion and directed his steps straight
home to his parents.

Now what he declared was that Jacinta had appeared to him,
and that he had recognized her perfectly. I asked Jacinta if it was
true that she had gone there to guide him. She answered that she
had not, that she had no idea at all of the location of the pine woods
and hills where he had been lost.
“I only prayed and pleaded very much with Our Lady for him,
because I felt so sorry for Aunt Vitoria.” That was how she an-
swered me.
How, then, did it happen? I don’t know. Only God knows.


1. One Last Question

There remains one more question of Dr. Galamba’s, which I

have yet to answer: “How did people feel when they were in Jacinta’s
presence?” It is not easy to reply, for, ordinarily, I do not know what
goes on within other people, and therefore I do not know how they
feel. This means that I can only say what I felt myself, and describe
any exterior manifestation of other people’s feelings.

2. Jacinta, Reflection of God

What I myself usually felt was much the same as anyone feels
in the presence of a holy person who seems to be in continual
communication with God. Jacinta’s demeanour was always seri-
ous and reserved, but friendly. All her actions seemed to reflect the
presence of God in the way proper to people of mature age and
great virtue. I never noticed in her that excessive frivolity or childish
enthusiasm for games and pretty things, so typical of small chil-
dren. This, of course, was after the Apparitions; before then, she
was the personification of enthusiasm and caprice! I cannot say
that the other children gathered around her as they did around me.
This was probably due to the fact that she did not know as many
songs or stories with which to teach and amuse them, or perhaps
that there was in her a seriousness far beyond her years.
If in her presence a child, or even a grown-up, were to say or
do anything unseemly, she would reprimand them, saying:

“Don’t do that, for you are offending the Lord our God, and He
is already so much offended!”
If, as sometimes happened, the child or adult answered back,
and called her a ‘pious Mary’ or a plaster saint, or some other such
thing, she would look at them very seriously and walk away without
a single word. Perhaps this was one of the reasons why she did not
enjoy more popularity. If I was with her, dozens of children would
gather round us in no time; but if I went away, she would soon find
herself all alone. Yet when I was with her, they seemed to delight in
her company. They would hug and kiss her in the affectionate way
of innocent children. They loved to sing and play with her, and some-
times begged me to go and look for her when she had not come
out to play. If she told them that she did not want to come because
they were naughty, they promised to be good if only she would
come out:
“Go and get her, and tell her that we promise to be good if
she’ll come.”
When I went to visit her during her illness, I often found a large
group waiting at the door, hoping to be able to come in with me and
see her. They seemed to be held back by a certain sense of re-
spect. Sometimes, before I left, I asked her:
“Jacinta, do you want me to tell some of them to stay here with
you and keep you company?”
“Oh, yes! But just the ones who are smaller than myself.”
Then they all vied with each other, saying: “I'll stay! I’ll stay!”
After that, she entertained them by teaching them the Our Father,
the Hail Mary, how to bless themselves, and to sing. Sitting on her
bed or, if she was up, on the floor of the living-room, they played
“pebbles”, using crab apples, chestnuts, sweet acorns, dried figs
and so on, all of which my aunt was only too happy to supply, so
that her little girl might enjoy the children’s company.
She prayed the Rosary with them, and counselled them not to
commit sin, and so avoid offending the Lord our God and going to
hell. Some of them spent whole mornings and afternoons with her,
and seemed very happy in her company. But once they had left her
presence, they did not dare to go back in the trusting way so natu-
ral to children. Sometimes they came in search of me, begging me
. go in with them, or they waited for me outside the house, or else

they waited at the door until my aunt or Jacinta herself invited them
in to see her. They seemed to like her and to enjoy her company,
but they felt themselves held back by a certain shyness or respect
that kept them somewhat at a distance.

3. Jacinta, Model of Virtue

Grown-ups also went to visit her. They showed clearly how

much they admired her demeanour, which was always the same,
always patient, without being in the least demanding or complain-
ing. Whatever the position in which she was Iying when her mother
left her, this was how she remained. If they asked her whether she
felt better, she answered: “I’m just the same”, or “ I think I’m worse,
thank you very much.” There was an air of sadness about her, as
she lay silent in the presence of visitors. People stayed sitting by
her bedside for long periods at a stretch, and looked as though
they felt happy to be there. It was there also that Jacinta had to
undergo detailed and exhausting interrogations. She never showed
the slightest impatience or repugnance, but merely told me later:
“My head aches so much after listening to all those people!
Now that I cannot run away and hide, I offer more of these sacri-
fices to Our Lord.”
The neighbours sometimes brought along clothes they were
making, so that they could sit and sew by her bedside.
“ I'll work a little beside Jacinta,” they would say; “ I don’t know
what it is about her, but it is good to be with her.”
They brought their little ones along too. The children amused
themselves by playing with Jacinta, and their mothers were thus
left free to do their sewing.
When people asked her questions, she answered in a friendly
manner, but briefly. If they said anything which she thought im-
proper, she promptly replied:
“Don’t say that; it offends the Lord our God.”
If they related something unbecoming about their families, she
“Don’t let your children commit sin, or they could go to hell.”
If there were grown-ups involved, she said:
“Tell them not to do that, for it is a sin. They offend the Lord our
God, and later they could be damned.”

People who came to visit us from a distance, either out of cu-
riosity or from devotion, seemed to sense something supernatural
about Jacinta. At times, when they came to my house to speak to
me, they remarked:
“We’ve just been talking to Jacinta and Francisco; when with
them we feel that there is something supernatural about them.”
Sometimes, they went so far as to want me to explain why
they felt like that. As I did not know, I simply shrugged my shoul-
ders and said nothing. I have often heard people commenting
on this.
One day, two priests and a gentleman came to my home. While
my mother was opening the door and inviting them to come in and
sit down, I climbed into the attic to hide. My mother, after showing
them in, left them alone, while she went out into the yard to call me,
for she had left me there but a moment before. Not finding me, she
delayed a while searching for me. In the meantime, the good gen-
tlemen were discussing the matter:
“We’ll see what this one will tell us.”
“What impressed me,” remarked the gentleman, “was the in-
nocence and sincerity of Jacinta and her brother. If this one does
not contradict herself, I’ll believe. I don’t know what it is I felt in the
presence of those two children!”
“lt’s as though one feels something supernatural in their pres-
ence,” added one of the priests:
“lt did my soul good to talk to them.”
My mother did not find me, and the good gentlemen had to
resign themselves to taking their departure without having been
able to speak to me.
“Sometimes,” my mother told them, “she goes off to play with
other children, and nobody can find her.”
“We’re very sorry! We greatly enjoyed talking to the two little
ones, and we wanted to talk to your little girl as well; but we shall
come back another time.”
One Sunday, my friends from Moita, Maria, Rosa and Ana
Caetano, and Maria and Ana Brogueira, came after Mass to ask
my mother to let me go and spend the day with them. Once I re-
ceived permission, they asked me to bring Jacinta and Francisco
along too. I asked my aunt and she agreed, and so all three of us

went to Moita. After dinner, Jacinta was so sleepy that her little
head began to nod. Mr. José Alves sent one of his nieces to go and
put her to bed. In just a short while, she fell fast asleep. The people
of the little hamlet began to gather in order to spend the afternoon
with us. They were so anxious to see Jacinta that they peeped in to
see if she were awake. They were filled with wonder when they
saw that, although in a deep sleep, she had a smile on her lips, the
look of an angel, and her little hands joined and raised towards
heaven. The room was soon filled with curious people. Everyone
wanted to see her, but those inside were in no hurry to come out
and make room for the others. Mr. José Alves, his wife and his
nieces all said:
“This must be an angel.”
Overcome, as it were, with awe, they remained kneeling be-
side the bed until, about half-past four, I went to call her, so that we
could go and pray the Rosary in the Cova da Iria and then return
home. Mr. José Alves’ nieces are the Caetano girls mentioned

4. Francisco was Different

In contrast to Jacinta, Francisco was quite different. He had an

easy manner, and was always friendly and smiling, playing with all
the children without distinction. He did not rebuke anybody. All he
did was to go aside, whenever he saw anything that was not as it
should be. If he was asked why he went away, he answered:
“Because you’re not good’’, or
“Because I don’t want to play any more.”
During his illness, the children ran in and out of his room with
the greatest freedom, talked to him through the window and asked
him if he was feeling better, and so forth. If he was asked whether
he wanted some of the children to stay with him and keep him
company, he used to say that he preferred not, as he liked to be
alone. He would say to me sometimes:
“I just like having you here, and Jacinta too.”
When grown-ups came to see him, he remained silent, only
answering when directly questioned, and then in as few words as
possible. People who came to visit him, whether they were neigh-

bours or strangers, often spent long periods sitting by his bedside,
and remarked:
“ I don’t know what it is about Francisco, but it feels so good to
be here!”
Some women from the village commented on this one day to
my aunt and my mother, after having spent quite a long time in
Francisco’s room:
«It’s a mystery one cannot fathom! They are children just like
any others, they don’t say anything to us, and yet in their presence
one feels something one can’t explain, and that makes them differ-
ent from all the rest.”
“It seems to me that when we go into Francisco’s room, we
feel just as we do when we go into a church,” said one of my aunt’s
neighbours, a woman named Romana, who apparently did not
believe in the Apparitions. There were three others in this group
also: the wives of Manuel Faustino, José Marto and José Silva.
I am not surprised that people felt like that, being accustomed
to find in everyone else only the preoccupation with material things
which goes with an empty, superficial life. Indeed, the very sight of
these children was enough to lift their minds to our heavenly Mother,
with whom the children were believed to be in communication; to
eternity, for they saw how eager, joyful and happy they were at the
thought of going there; to God, for they said that they loved Him
more than their own parents; and even to hell, for the children
warned them that people would go there if they continued to com-
mit sin.
Externally, they were, so to speak, children like all others. But
if these good people, so accustomed to the material side of life,
had only known how to elevate their minds a little, they would have
seen without difficulty that, in these children, there was something
that marked them out as being different from all others.
I have just remembered something else connected with Fran-
cisco, and I am going to relate it here.
A woman called Mariana, from Casa Velha, came one day into
Francisco’s room. She was most upset because her husband had
driven their son out of the house, and she was asking for the grace
that her son would be reconciled with his father. Francisco said to
her in reply:

“Don’t worry. I’m going to Heaven very soon, and when I get
there I will ask Our Lady for that grace.”
I do not recall just how many days remained before he took his
flight to Heaven, but what I do remember is that, on the very after-
noon of Francisco’s death, the son went for the very last time to
ask pardon of his father, who had previously refused it because his
son would not submit to the conditions imposed.
The boy accepted everything that the father demanded, and
peace reigned once again in that home. This boy’s sister, Leocadia
by name, later married a brother of Jacinta and Francisco, and
became the mother of their niece, whom Your Excellency met in
the Cova da Iria when she was about to enter the Dorotheans.


I think, Your Excellency, that I have written everything that you

have asked of me for now. Up to this, I did all I could to conceal the
more intimate aspects of Our Lady's Apparitions in the Cova da
Iria. Whenever I found myself obliged to speak about them, I was
careful to touch on the subject very lightly, to avoid revealing what
I wanted so much to keep hidden. But now that obedience has
required this of me, here it is! I am left like a skeleton, stripped of
everything, even of life itself, placed in the National Museum to
remind visitors of the misery and nothingness of all passing things.
Thus despoiled, I shall remain in the museum of the world, remind-
ing all who pass, not of misery and nothingness, but of the great-
ness of the Divine Mercies.
May the Good God and the Immaculate Heart of Mary deign
to accept the humble sacrifices which they have seen fit to ask of
me, in order to vivify in souls the spirit of faith, confidence and love.

Tuy, 8th December, 1941.


The text which follows is a document written by Sister Lucia, in

the third person, towards the end of 1927, at the request of her spir-
itual director, Rev. Fr. P. Aparicio, S. J. Shortly after this apparition,
which took place in her cell on the 10th of December, 1925, Sister
Lucia wrote out a first account of it, which she herself later destroyed.
This present document, therefore, is a second account. It is exactly
the same as the first, except for the fact that she added the introduc-
tory paragraph, dated 17th of December, 1927, in which she explained
how she received authorization from Heaven to make known part of
the secret.
We have entitled this document: “Text of the great promise of the
Heart of Mary”. Truly, it is the expression of the merciful and gratuitous
Will of God, offering us a sure and easy way of salvation, given that it
is supported by the most sound catholic tradition concerning the saving
efficacy of Mary’s intercession.
This text tells us the conditions required in order to respond to
Our Lady’s appeal for the Five First Saturdays of the month, in re-
paration for the injuries committed against the Heart of Mary. Nor
should this deeper intention of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary ever be forgotten.



J. M. J.

On December 17th, 1927, she went before the tabernacle to

ask Jesus how she should comply with what had been asked of
her, that is, to say if the origin of the devotion to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary was included in the Secret that the most holy Virgin
had confided to her.
Jesus made her hear very distinctly these words: “My daugh-
ter, write what they ask of you. Write also all that the most holy
Virgin revealed to you in the Apparition, in which she spoke of this

devotion. As for the remainder of the Secret, continue to keep si-
What was confided on this subject in 1917, is as follows:
She asked for them to be taken to Heaven, and the most holy
Virgin answered: “Yes. I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But
you 1 are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use
of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the
world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those
who embrace it, and these souls will be loved by God, like flowers
placed by me to adorn His throne.”
“Am I to stay here all alone?” she asked, sadly.
“No, daughter. I shall never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart
will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”
On December 10th, 1925, the most holy Virgin appeared to
her, and by her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was a child.
The most holy Virgin rested her hand on her shoulder, and as she
did so, she showed her a heart encircled by thorns, which she was
holding in her other hand. At the same time, the Child said:
“Have compassion on the Heart of your most holy Mother,
covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every
moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to re-
move them.”
Then the most holy Virgin said:
“Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with
which ungrateful men pierce me every moment by their blasphe-
mies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I
promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary
for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecu-
tive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five
decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes
while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the
intention of making reparation to me.”
On February 15th, 1926, the Infant Jesus appeared to her
again. He asked her if she had already spread the devotion to His
most holy Mother. She told Him of the confessor’s difficulties, and

We respect Sister Lucia’s wish here, in that, having written her own name,
she then erased it, but not so completely as to render it illegible.

said that Mother Superior was prepared to propagate it, but that
the confessor had said that she, alone, could do nothing.
Jesus replied:
“ lt is true that your Superior alone can do nothing, but with my
grace, she can do all.”
She placed before Jesus the difficulty that some people had
about confessing on Saturday, and asked that it might be valid to
go to confession within eight days. Jesus answered:
“Yes, and it could be longer still, provided that, when they re-
ceive Me, they are in the state of grace and have the intention of
making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
She then asked:
“My Jesus, what about those who forget to make this intention?”
Jesus replied:
“They can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of
the first opportunity to go to confession.”

Some days later, Sister Lucia wrote down a full account of this
apparition, which was sent to Msgr. Manuel Pereira Lopes, after-
wards Vicar General of the Diocese of Porto, who had been Lucia’s
confessor during her stay at Vilar do Oporto. This unpublished docu-
ment was inserted by Rev. Dr. Sebastião Martins dos Reis in his
book entitled: “A Life in the Service of Fatima” cf. pp. 336-357.

On the 15th (of February 1926), I was very busy at my work,

and was not thinking of this at all. I went to throw out a panful of
rubbish beyond the vegetable garden, in the same place where,
some months earlier, I had met a child. I had asked him if he knew
the Hail Mary, and he said he did, whereupon I requested him to
say it so that I could hear him. But, as he made no attempt to say it
by himself, I said it with him three times over, at the end of which I
asked him to say it alone. But as he remained silent and was un-
able to say the Hail Mary alone, I asked him if he knew where the
Church of Santa Maria was, to which he replied that he did. I told
him to go there every day and to say this: O my heavenly Mother,
give me your Child Jesus! I taught him this, and then left him.
On the 15th of February, 1926, going there as usual, I found a
child who seemed to me to be the same one whom I had previ-
ously met, so I questioned him:

“Did you ask our heavenly Mother for the Child Jesus?”
The child turned to me and said:
“And have you spread through the world what our heavenly
Mother requested of you?”
With that, he was transformed into a resplendent Child. Know-
ing then that it was Jesus, I said:
“My Jesus, You know very well what my confessor said to me
in the letter I read to You. He told me that it was necessary for this
vision to be repeated, for further happenings to prove its credibility,
and he added that Mother Superior, on her own, could do nothing
to propagate this devotion.”
“It is true your Superior alone can do nothing, but with my grace
she can do all. It is enough that your confessor gives you permis-
sion and that your Superior speak of it, for it to be believed, even
without people knowing to whom it has been revealed.”
“But my confessor said in the letter that this devotion is not
lacking in the world, because there are many souls who receive
You on the First Saturdays, in honour of Our Lady and of the Fif-
teen Mysteries of the Rosary”.
“ It is true, my daughter, that many souls begin the First Satur-
days, but few finish them, and those who do complete them do so
in order to receive the graces that are promised thereby. It would
please me more if they did Five with fervour and with the intention
of making reparation to the Heart of your heavenly Mother, than if
they did Fifteen, in a tepid and indifferent manner...”


The text of this Appendix is not a document in Sister Lucia’s own

handwriting, but it has all the guarantees of authenticity, seeing that it
was her spiritual director, at this time Rev. Fr. José Bernardo Gon-
çalves, S. J., who transcribed it directly and literally from the Seer’s
notes. The vision to which this text refers was granted to Sister Lucia
on the 13th of June, 1929, in the chapel of her convent at Tuy,
Spain.The text begins with an account of the vision of the Most Holy
Trinity, together with Our Lady showing her Heart, as in the Appari-

tions of June and July of 1917. The promise she had made then was
now realized, and Sister Lucia heard the Blessed Virgin ask for the
consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart under certain well
defined conditions.



Rev. Fr. Gonçalves sometimes came to our chapel to hear con-

fessions. I went to confession to him and, as I felt at ease with him,
I continued to do so for the three years that he remained here as
Assistant to the Fr. Provincial.
It was at this time that Our Lady informed me that the moment
had come in which she wished me to make known to Holy Church
her desire for the Consecration of Russia, and her promise to con-
vert it. The communication was as follows:
13-6-1929. I had sought and obtained permission from my
superiors and confessor to make a Holy Hour from eleven o’clock
until midnight, every Thursday to Friday. Being alone one night, I
knelt near the altar rails in the middle of the chapel and, prostrate,
I prayed the prayers of the Angel. Feeling tired, I then stood up and
continued to say the prayers with my arms in the form of a cross.
The only light was that of the sanctuary lamp. Suddenly the whole
chapel was illumined by a supernatural light, and above the altar
appeared a cross of light, reaching to the ceiling. In a brighter light
on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man and
his body as far as the waist, upon his breast was a dove also of
light and nailed to the cross was the body of another man. A little
below the waist, I could see a chalice and a large host suspended
in the air, on to which drops of blood were falling from the face of
Jesus Crucified and from the wound in His side. These drops ran
down on to the host and fell into the chalice. Beneath the right arm
of the cross was Our Lady and in her hand was her Immaculate
Heart. (It was Our Lady of Fatima, with her Immaculate Heart in
her left hand, without sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns
and flames). Under the left arm of the cross, large letters, as if of
crystal clear water which ran down upon the altar, formed these
words: “Grace and Mercy.”

I understood that it was the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity
which was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery
which I am not permitted to reveal.
Our Lady then said to me:
“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in
union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of
Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.
There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for
sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation:
sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.”
I gave an account of this to the confessor, who ordered me to
write down what Our Lady wanted done.
Later, in an intimate communication, Our Lord complained to
me, saying:
“They did not wish to heed my request!... Like the King of
France*, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will
have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking
wars, and persecutions of the Church: the Holy Father will have
much to suffer.”

* In 1689, one year before her death, Saint Margaret Mary tried by vari-
ous ways and means to reach the ‘Sun King’, Louis XIV of France,
with a message from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with four requests: to
engrave the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the royal flags; to build a temple
in His honour where He would receive the homage of the Court: the
King was to make his consecration to the Sacred Heart; and he should
pledge his authority before the Holy See to obtain a Mass in honour of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
However, nothing was achieved. It seems that this message never
even came to the knowledge of the King.
Only a century later, the royal family would respond, in the measure
possible, to this message. Louis XVI, in 1792, conceived the idea of
his vow to the Heart of Jesus, but he could only carry it out in the
Temple prison, promising to fulfil all the requests communicated by St.
Margaret Mary, after his liberation. But, for Divine Providence it was
now late: Louis XVI was guillotined on 21 January 1793.

The best kept part of the “Secret” of Fatima, accompanied by an ap-
propriate commentary from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith,
was published on 26 June 2000. Through this divulgence the Mes-
sage of Fatima acquired an extraordinary actuality and value.
We transcribe here the text of the document referred to, in its entirety.


As the second millennium gives way to the third, Pope John
Paul II has decided to publish the text of the third part of the “secret
of Fatima”.
The twentieth century was one of the most crucial in human
history, with its tragic and cruel events culminating in the assassi-
nation attempt on the “sweet Christ on earth”. Now a veil is drawn
back on a series of events which make history and interpret it in
depth, in a spiritual perspective alien to present-day attitudes, of-
ten tainted with rationalism.
Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions
and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the
surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the
unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the
content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of
Christ’s proclamation: the Father’s love which leads men and women
to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself
to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which,
with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the
heart of the Gospel.
Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern appari-
tions. The first and second parts of the “secret”–which are here
published in sequence so as to complete the documentation– refer
especially to the frightening vision of hell, devotion to the Immacu-
late Heart of Mary, the Second World War, and finally the predic-
tion of the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by
abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Communist totali-

In 1917 no one could have imagined all this: the three
pastorinhos of Fatima see, listen and remember, and Lucia, the
surviving witness, commits it all to paper when ordered to do so by
the Bishop of Leiria and with Our Lady’s permission.
For the account of the first two parts of the “secret”, which
have already been published and are therefore known, we have
chosen the text written by Sister Lucia in the Third Memoir of 31
August 1941; some annotations were added in the Fourth Memoir
of 8 December 1941.
The third part of the “secret” was written “by order of His Ex-
cellency the Bishop of Leiria and the Most Holy Mother ...” on 3
January 1944.
There is only one manuscript, which is here reproduced
photostatically. The sealed envelope was initially in the custody of
the Bishop of Leiria. To ensure better protection for the “secret” the
envelope was placed in the Secret Archives of the Holy Office on 4
April 1957. The Bishop of Leiria informed Sister Lucia of this.
According to the records of the Archives, the Commissary of
the Holy Office, Father Pierre Paul Philippe, OP, with the agree-
ment of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, brought the envelopecontaining
the third part of the “secret of Fatima” to Pope John XXIII on 17
August 1959. “After some hesitation”, His Holiness said: “We shall
wait. I shall pray. I shall let you know what I decide”.1
From the diary of John XXIII, 17 August 1959: “Audiences: Father Philippe,
Commissary of the Holy Office, who brought me the letter containing the third
part of the secrets of Fatima. I intend to read it with my Confessor”.

In fact Pope John XXIII decided to return the sealed envelope
to the Holy Office and not to reveal the third part of the “secret”.
Paul VI read the contents with the Substitute, Archbishop
Angelo Dell’Acqua, on 27 March 1965, and returned the envelope
to the Archives of the Holy Office, deciding not to publish the text.
John Paul II, for his part, asked for the envelope containing the
third part of the “secret” following the assassination attempt on 13
May 1981. On 18 July 1981 Cardinal Franjo Šeper, Prefect of the
Congregation, gave two envelopes to Archbishop Eduardo Martínez
Somalo, Substitute of the Secretariat of State: one white envelope,
containing Sister Lucia’s original text in Portuguese; the other or-
ange, with the Italian translation of the “secret”. On the following 11
August, Archbishop Martínez returned the two envelopes to the
Archives of the Holy Office. 2
As is well known, Pope John Paul II immediately thought of
consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and he
himself composed a prayer for what he called an “Act of Entrust-
ment”, which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Mary
Major on 7 June 1981, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the day chosen
to commemorate the 1600th anniversary of the First Council of
Constantinople and the 1550th anniversary of the Council of
Ephesus. Since the Pope was unable to be present, his recorded
Address was broadcast. The following is the part which refers spe-
cifically to the Act of Entrustment:
“Mother of all individuals and peoples, you know all their
sufferings and hopes. In your motherly heart you feel all the strug-
gles between good and evil, between light and darkness, that con-
vulse the world: accept the plea which we make in the Holy Spirit
directly to your heart, and embrace with the love of the Mother and
Handmaid of the Lord those who most await this embrace, and
also those whose act of entrustment you too await in a par-
ticular way. Take under your motherly protection the whole human
family, which with affectionate love we entrust to you, O Mother.

The Holy Father’s comment at the General Audience of 14 October 1981 on
“What happened in May: A Great Divine Trial” should be recalled: Insegnamenti
di Giovanni Paolo II, IV, 2 (Vatican City, 1981), 409-412.

May there dawn for everyone the time of peace and freedom, the
time of truth, of justice and of hope”. 3
In order to respond more fully to the requests of “Our Lady”,
the Holy Father desired to make more explicit during the Holy Year
of the Redemption the Act of Entrustment of 7 May 1981, which
had been repeated in Fatima on 13 May 1982. On 25 March 1984
in Saint Peter’s Square, while recalling the fiat uttered by Mary at
the Annunciation, the Holy Father, in spiritual union with the Bish-
ops of the world, who had been “convoked” beforehand, entrusted
all men and women and all peoples to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary, in terms which recalled the heartfelt words spoken in 1981:
“O Mother of all men and women, and of all peoples, you who
know all their sufferings and their hopes, you who have a mother’s
awareness of all the struggles between good and evil, between
light and darkness, which afflict the modern world, accept the cry
which we, moved by the Holy Spirit, address directly to your Heart.
Embrace with the love of the Mother and Handmaid of the Lord,
this human world of ours, which we entrust and consecrate to you,
for we are full of concern for the earthly and eternal destiny of
individuals and peoples.
In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those indi-
viduals and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted
and consecrated.
‘We have recourse to your protection, holy Mother of God!’
Despise not our petitions in our necessities”.
The Pope then continued more forcefully and with more spe-
cific references, as though commenting on the Message of Fatima
in its sorrowful fulfilment:
“Behold, as we stand before you, Mother of Christ, before your
Immaculate Heart, we desire, together with the whole Church, to
unite ourselves with the consecration which, for love of us, your
Son made of himself to the Father: ‘For their sake’, he said, ‘I con-

Radio message during the Ceremony of Veneration, Thanksgiving and En-
trustment to the Virgin Mary Theotokos in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major:
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, IV, 1 (Vatican City, 1981), 1246.

secrate myself that they also may be consecrated in the truth’ (Jn
17:19). We wish to unite ourselves with our Redeemer in this his
consecration for the world and for the human race, which, in his di-
vine Heart, has the power to obtain pardon and to secure reparation.
The power of this consecrationlasts for all time and embraces
all individuals, peoples and nations. It overcomes every evil that
the spirit of darkness is able to awaken, and has in fact awakened
in our times, in the heart of man and in his history.
How deeply we feel the need for the consecration of humanity
and the world—our modern world—in union with Christ himself!
For the redeeming work of Christ must be shared in by the world
through the Church.
The present Year of the Redemption shows this: the special
Jubilee of the whole Church.
Above all creatures, may you be blessed, you, the Handmaid
of the Lord, who in the fullest way obeyed the divine call!
Hail to you, who are wholly united to the redeeming consecra-
tion of your Son!
Mother of the Church! Enlighten the People of God along the
paths of faith, hope, and love! Enlighten especially the peoples
whose consecration and entrustment by us you are awaiting. Help
us to live in the truth of the consecration of Christ for the entire
human family of the modern world.
In entrusting to you, O Mother, the world, all individuals and
peoples, we also entrust to you this very consecration of the world,
placing it in your motherly Heart.
Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which
so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose
immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world
and seem to block the paths towards the future!
From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every
kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the
children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national
and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God,
deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God,
deliver us.
From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.
Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings
of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole
Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin:
individual sin and the ‘sin of the world’, sin in all its manifestations.
Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world
the infinite saving power of the Redemption: the power of merciful
Love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May
your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope!”. 4
Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and univer-
sal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished
(“Sim, está feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25
de Março de 1984”: “Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked,
on 25 March 1984”: Letter of 8 November 1989). Hence any further
discussion or request is without basis.
In the documentation presented here four other texts have been
added to the manuscripts of Sister Lucia: 1) the Holy Father’s letter
of 19 April 2000 to Sister Lucia; 2) an account of the conversation
of 27 April 2000 with Sister Lucia; 3) the statement which the Holy
Father appointed Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, to
read on 13 May 2000; 4) the theological commentary by Cardinal
Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith.
Sister Lucia had already given an indication for interpreting
the third part of the “secret” in a letter to the Holy Father, dated 12
May 1982:
“The third part of the secret refers to Our Lady’s words: ‘If not
[Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars

On the Jubilee Day for Families, the Pope entrusted individuals and nations to
Our Lady: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VII, 1 (Vatican City, 1984), 775-

and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the
Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be anni-
hilated’ (13-VII-1917).
The third part of the secret is a symbolic revelation, referring
to this part of the Message, conditioned by whether we accept or
not what the Message itself asks of us: ‘If my requests are heeded,
Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will
spread her errors throughout the world, etc.’.
Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see
that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her
errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfilment of the
final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with
great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge,
injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality
and violence, etc.
And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this
way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing
their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us
to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us;
hence people are responsible”. 5

The decision of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make public
the third part of the “secret” of Fatima brings to an end a period of
history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil, yet per-
vaded by the merciful love of God and the watchful care of the
Mother of Jesus and of the Church.
The action of God, the Lord of history, and the co-responsibil-
ity of man in the drama of his creative freedom, are the two pillars
upon which human history is built.
Our Lady, who appeared at Fatima, recalls these forgotten
values. She reminds us that man’s future is in God, and that we are
active and responsible partners in creating that future.

?Tarcisio Bertone, SDB

Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

First and second part of the “Secret” according to the version presented by
Sister Lucia in the “Third Memoir” of 31 August 1941 for the Bishop of
(original text)

(translation) 6

... This will entail my speaking about the secret, and thus an-
swering the first question.
What is the secret? It seems to me that I can reveal it, since I
already have permission from Heaven to do so. God’s representa-
tives on earth have authorized me to do this several times and in
various letters, one of which, I believe, is in your keeping. This let-
ter is from Father José Bernardo Gonçalves, and in it he advises
me to write to the Holy Father, suggesting, among other things,
that I should reveal the secret. I did say something about it. But in
order not to make my letter too long, since I was told to keep it
short, I confined myself to the essentials, leaving it to God to pro-
vide another more favourable opportunity.
In my second account I have already described in detail the
doubt which tormented me from 13 June until 13 July, and how it
disappeared completely during the Apparition on that day.
Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which
I am now going to reveal.
The first part is the vision of hell.
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be
under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in
human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or bur-
nished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into
In the “Fourth Memoir” of 8 December 1941 Sister Lucia writes: “I shall begin
then my new task, and thus fulfil the commands received from Your Excellency
as well as the desires of Dr Galamba. With the exception of that part of the
Secret which I am not permitted to reveal at present, I shall say everything. I
shall not knowingly omit anything, though I suppose I may forget just a few
small details of minor importance”.

the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together
with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like
sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks
and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us
tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terri-
fying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all
black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can
we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had
already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us
to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.
We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and
so sadly:
“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To
save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my
Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be
saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people
do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the
Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an
unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God
that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of
war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia
to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the
First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be
converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors
throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.
The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer;
various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart
will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and
she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to
the world”. 7
In the “Fourth Memoir” Sister Lucia adds: “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith
will always be preserved, etc. ...”.

(original text)

(translation) 8

The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima,
on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do
so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your
Most Holy Mother and mine.
After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left
of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming
sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as
though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact
with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her
right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried
out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’. And we saw in
an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people
appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in
White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other
Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep
mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn
trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the
Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling
with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the
souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of
the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was
killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him,
and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops,
Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of
different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross
there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand,
in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it
sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

In the translation, the original text has been respected, even as regards the
imprecise punctuation, which nevertheless does not impede an understanding
of what the visionary wished to say.


To the Reverend Sister Maria Lucia

of the Convent of Coimbra
In the great joy of Easter, I greet you with the words the Risen
Jesus spoke to the disciples: “Peace be with you”!
I will be happy to be able to meet you on the long-awaited day of
the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, which, please God, I will
celebrate on 13 May of this year.
Since on that day there will be time only for a brief greeting and
not a conversation, I am sending His Excellency Archbishop Tarcisio
Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
to speak with you. This is the Congregation which works most closely
with the Pope in defending the true Catholic faith, and which since
1957, as you know, has kept your hand-written letter containing the
third part of the “secret” revealed on 13 July 1917 at Cova da Iria,
Archbishop Bertone, accompanied by the Bishop of Leiria, His
Excellency Bishop Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva, will come in
my name to ask certain questions about the interpretation of “the
third part of the secret”.
Sister Maria Lucia, you may speak openly and candidly to Arch-
bishop Bertone, who will report your answers directly to me.
I pray fervently to the Mother of the Risen Lord for you, Rever-
end Sister, for the Community of Coimbra and for the whole Church.
May Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, keep us always united to Je-
sus, her beloved Son and our brother, the Lord of life and glory.
With my special Apostolic Blessing.


From the Vatican, 19 April 2000.


The meeting between Sister Lucia, Archbishop Tarcisio

Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
sent by the Holy Father, and Bishop Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e
Silva, Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, took place on Thursday, 27 April
2000, in the Carmel of Saint Teresa in Coimbra.
Sister Lucia was lucid and at ease; she was very happy that
the Holy Father was going to Fatima for the Beatification of Francis-
co and Jacinta, something she had looked forward to for a long time.
The Bishop of Leiria-Fatima read the autograph letter of the
Holy Father, which explained the reasons for the visit. Sister Lucia
felt honoured by this and reread the letter herself, contemplating it
in own her hands. She said that she was prepared to answer all
questions frankly.
At this point, Archbishop Bertone presented two envelopes to
her: the first containing the second, which held the third part of the
“secret” of Fatima.
Immediately, touching it with her fingers, she said: “This is my
letter”, and then while reading it: “This is my writing”.
The original text, in Portuguese, was read and interpreted with
the help of the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima. Sister Lucia agreed with
the interpretation that the third part of the “secret” was a prophetic
vision, similar to those in sacred history. She repeated her convic-
tion that the vision of Fatima concerns above all the struggle of
atheistic Communism against the Church and against Christians,
and describes the terrible sufferings of the victims of the faith in the
twentieth century.
When asked: “Is the principal figure in the vision the Pope?”,
Sister Lucia replied at once that it was. She recalled that the three
children were very sad about the suffering of the Pope, and that
Jacinta kept saying: “Coitadinho do Santo Padre, tenho muita pena
dos pecadores!” (“Poor Holy Father, I am very sad for sinners!”).
Sister Lucia continued: “We did not know the name of the Pope;
Our Lady did not tell us the name of the Pope; we did not know

whether it was Benedict XV or Pius XII or Paul VI or John Paul II;
but it was the Pope who was suffering and that made us suffer too”.
As regards the passage about the Bishop dressed in white,
that is, the Holy Father—as the children immediately realized dur-
ing the “vision”—who is struck dead and falls to the ground, Sister
Lucia was in full agreement with the Pope’s claim that “it was a
mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the
Pope halted at the threshold of death” (Pope John Paul II, Medita-
tion from the Policlinico Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, 13 May 1994).
Before giving the sealed envelope containing the third part of
the “secret” to the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, Sister Lucia wrote
on the outside envelope that it could be opened only after 1960,
either by the Patriarch of Lisbon or the Bishop of Leiria. Archbishop
Bertone therefore asked: “Why only after 1960? Was it Our Lady
who fixed that date?” Sister Lucia replied: “It was not Our Lady. I
fixed the date because I had the intuition that before 1960 it would
not be understood, but that only later would it be understood. Now
it can be better understood. I wrote down what I saw; however it
was not for me to interpret it, but for the Pope.
Finally, mention was made of the unpublished manuscript which
Sister Lucia has prepared as a reply to the many letters that come
from Marian devotees and from pilgrims. The work is called Os
apelos da Mensagem de Fatima, and it gathers together in the
style of catechesis and exhortation thoughts and reflections which
express Sister Lucia’s feelings and her clear and unaffected spir-
ituality. She was asked if she would be happy to have it published,
and she replied: “If the Holy Father agrees, then I am happy, other-
wise I obey whatever the Holy Father decides”. Sister Lucia wants
to present the text for ecclesiastical approval, and she hopes that
what she has written will help to guide men and women of good will
along the path that leads to God, the final goal of every human
longing.The conversation ends with an exchange of rosaries. Sis-
ter Lucia is given a rosary sent by the Holy Father, and she in turn
offers a number of rosaries made by herself.
The meeting concludes with the blessing imparted in the name
of the Holy Father.


At the end of the Mass presided over by the Holy Father at Fatima,
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Secretary of State, made this announce-
ment in Portuguese, which is given here in English translation:
Brothers and Sisters in the Lord!
At the conclusion of this solemn celebration, I feel bound to
offer our beloved Holy Father Pope John Paul II, on behalf of all
present, heartfelt good wishes for his approaching 80th Birthday
and to thank him for his vital pastoral ministry for the good of all
God’s Holy Church; we present the heartfelt wishes of the whole
On this solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness
has directed me to make an announcement to you. As you know,
the purpose of his visit to Fatima has been to beatify the two “little
shepherds”. Nevertheless he also wishes his pilgrimage to be a
renewed gesture of gratitude to Our Lady for her protection during
these years of his papacy. This protection seems also to be linked
to the so-called third part of the “secret” of Fatima.
That text contains a prophetic vision similar to those found in
Sacred Scripture, which do not describe photographically the de-
tails of future events, but synthesize and compress against a sin-
gle background facts which extend through time in an unspecified
succession and duration. As a result, the text must be interpreted
in a symbolic key.
The vision of Fatima concerns above all the war waged by
atheistic systems against the Church and Christians, and it de-
scribes the immense suffering endured by the witnesses of the
faith in the last century of the second millennium. It is an intermina-
ble Way of the Cross led by the Popes of the twentieth century.
According to the interpretation of the “little shepherds”, which
was also confirmed recently by Sister Lucia, “the Bishop clothed in
white” who prays for all the faithful is the Pope. As he makes his
way with great difficulty towards the Cross amid the corpses of
those who were martyred (Bishops, priests, men and women Reli-
gious and many lay people), he too falls to the ground, apparently
dead, under a hail of gunfire.

After the assassination attempt of 13 May 1981, it appeared
evident that it was “a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path”,
enabling “the Pope in his throes” to halt “at the threshold of death”
(Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico Gemelli to the
Italian Bishops, Insegnamenti, XVII, 1 [1994], 1061). On the occa-
sion of a visit to Rome by the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the
Pope decided to give him the bullet which had remained in the jeep
after the assassination attempt, so that it might be kept in the shrine.
By the Bishop’s decision, the bullet was later set in the crown of the
statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union
and in a number of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the
Communist regimes which promoted atheism. For this too His Ho-
liness offers heartfelt thanks to the Most Holy Virgin. In other parts
of the world, however, attacks against the Church and against Chris-
tians, with the burden of suffering they bring, tragically continue.
Even if the events to which the third part of the “secret” of Fatima
refers now seem part of the past, Our Lady’s call to conversion and
penance, issued at the start of the twentieth century, remains timely
and urgent today. “The Lady of the message seems to read the
signs of the times—the signs of our time—with special insight...
The insistent invitation of Mary Most Holy to penance is nothing
but the manifestation of her maternal concern for the fate of the
human family, in need of conversion and forgiveness” (Pope John
Paul II, Message for the 1997 World Day of the Sick, No. 1,
Insegnamenti, XIX, 2 [1996], 561).
In order that the faithful may better receive the message of
Our Lady of Fatima, the Pope has charged the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith with making public the third part of the
“secret”, after the preparation of an appropriate commentary.
Brothers and sisters, let us thank Our Lady of Fatima for her
protection. To her maternal intercession let us entrust the Church
of the Third Millennium.
Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix! Inter-
cede pro Ecclesia. Intercede pro Papa nostro Ioanne Paulo II. Amen.
Fatima, 13 May 2000


A careful reading of the text of the so-called third “secret” of

Fatima, published here in its entirety long after the fact and by de-
cision of the Holy Father, will probably prove disappointing or sur-
prising after all the speculation it has stirred. No great mystery is
revealed; nor is the future unveiled. We see the Church of the mar-
tyrs of the century which has just passed represented in a scene
described in a language which is symbolic and not easy to deci-
pher. Is this what the Mother of the Lord wished to communicate to
Christianity and to humanity at a time of great difficulty and dis-
tress? Is it of any help to us at the beginning of the new millen-
nium? Or are these only projections of the inner world of children,
brought up in a climate of profound piety but shaken at the same
time by the tempests which threatened their own time? How should
we understand the vision? What are we to make of it?

Public Revelation and private revelations – their theological

Before attempting an interpretation, the main lines of which
can be found in the statement read by Cardinal Sodano on 13 May
of this year at the end of the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in
Fatima, there is a need for some basic clarification of the way in
which, according to Church teaching, phenomena such as Fatima
are to be understood within the life of faith. The teaching of the
Church distinguishes between “public Revelation” and “private rev-
elations”. The two realities differ not only in degree but also in es-
sence. The term “public Revelation” refers to the revealing action of
God directed to humanity as a whole and which finds its literary
expression in the two parts of the Bible: the Old and New Testa-
ments. It is called “Revelation” because in it God gradually made
himself known to men, to the point of becoming man himself, in
order to draw to himself the whole world and unite it with himself
through his Incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. It is not a matter therefore
of intellectual communication, but of a life-giving process in which
God comes to meet man. At the same time this process naturally
produces data pertaining to the mind and to the understanding of
the mystery of God. It is a process which involves man in his en-

tirety and therefore reason as well, but not reason alone. Because
God is one, history, which he shares with humanity, is also one. It is
valid for all time, and it has reached its fulfilment in the life, death
and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has said every-
thing, that is, he has revealed himself completely, and therefore
Revelation came to an end with the fulfilment of the mystery of
Christ as enunciated in the New Testament. To explain the finality
and completeness of Revelation, the Catechism of the Catholic
Church quotes a text of Saint John of the Cross: “In giving us his
Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke every-
thing to us at once in this sole Word—and he has no more to say...
because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has
now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any
person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would
be guilty not only of foolish behaviour but also of offending him, by
not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire
for some other novelty” (No. 65; Saint John of the Cross,The As-
cent of Mount Carmel, II, 22).

Because the single Revelation of God addressed to all peoples

comes to completion with Christ and the witness borne to him in
the books of the New Testament, the Church is tied to this unique
event of sacred history and to the word of the Bible, which
guarantees and interprets it. But this does not mean that the Church
can now look only to the past and that she is condemned to sterile
repetition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in this regard:
“...even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made
fully explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full
significance over the course of the centuries” (No. 66). The way in
which the Church is bound to both the uniqueness of the event and
progress in understanding it is very well illustrated in the farewell
discourse of the Lord when, taking leave of his disciples, he says:
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them
now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the
truth; for he will not speak on his own authority... He will glorify me,
for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (Jn 16:12-14). On
the one hand, the Spirit acts as a guide who discloses a knowledge
previously unreachable because the premise was missing—this is
the boundless breadth and depth of Christian faith. On the other

hand, to be guided by the Spirit is also “to draw from” the riches of
Jesus Christ himself, the inexhaustible depths of which appear in
the way the Spirit leads. In this regard, the Catechism cites profound
words of Pope Gregory the Great: “The sacred Scriptures grow
with the one who reads them” (No. 94; Gregory the Great,Homilia
in Ezechielem I, 7, 8). The Second Vatican Council notes three
essential ways in which the Spirit guides in the Church, and therefore
three ways in which “the word grows”: through the meditation and
study of the faithful, through the deep understanding which comes
from spiritual experience, and through the preaching of “those who,
in the succession of the episcopate, have received the sure charism
of truth” (Dei Verbum, 8).

In this context, it now becomes possible to understand rightly

the concept of “private revelation”, which refers to all the visions
and revelations which have taken place since the completion of
the New Testament. This is the category to which we must assign
the message of Fatima. In this respect, let us listen once again to
the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Throughout the ages, there
have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been
recognized by the authority of the Church... It is not their role to
complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully
by it in a certain period of history” (No. 67). This clarifies two things:
1. The authority of private revelations is essentially different
from that of the definitive public Revelation. The latter demands
faith; in it in fact God himself speaks to us through human words
and the mediation of the living community of the Church. Faith in
God and in his word is different from any other human faith, trust or
opinion. The certainty that it is God who is speaking gives me the
assurance that I am in touch with truth itself. It gives me a certitude
which is beyond verification by any human way of knowing. It is the
certitude upon which I build my life and to which I entrust myself in
2. Private revelation is a help to this faith, and shows its cred-
ibility precisely by leading me back to the definitive public Revela-
tion. In this regard, Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, the future Pope
Benedict XIV, says in his classic treatise, which later became nor-
mative for beatifications and canonizations: “An assent of Catholic

faith is not due to revelations approved in this way; it is not even
possible. These revelations seek rather an assent of human faith in
keeping with the requirements of prudence, which puts them be-
fore us as probable and credible to piety”. The Flemish theologian
E. Dhanis, an eminent scholar in this field, states succinctly that
ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation has three elements:
the message contains nothing contrary to faith or morals; it is law-
ful to make it public; and the faithful are authorized to accept it with
prudence (E. Dhanis,Sguardo su Fatima e bilancio di una
discussione, in La Civiltà Cattolica 104 [1953], II, 392-406, in par-
ticular 397). Such a message can be a genuine help in understand-
ing the Gospel and living it better at a particular moment in time;
therefore it should not be disregarded. It is a help which is offered,
but which one is not obliged to use.

The criterion for the truth and value of a private revelation is

therefore its orientation to Christ himself. When it leads us away
from him, when it becomes independent of him or even presents
itself as another and better plan of salvation, more important than
the Gospel, then it certainly does not come from the Holy Spirit,
who guides us more deeply into the Gospel and not away from it.
This does not mean that a private revelation will not offer new
emphases or give rise to new devotional forms, or deepen and
spread older forms. But in all of this there must be a nurturing of
faith, hope and love, which are the unchanging path to salvation for
everyone. We might add that private revelations often spring from
popular piety and leave their stamp on it, giving it a new impulse
and opening the way for new forms of it. Nor does this exclude that
they will have an effect even on the liturgy, as we see for instance
in the feasts of Corpus Christi and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
From one point of view, the relationship between Revelation and
private revelations appears in the relationship between the liturgy
and popular piety: the liturgy is the criterion, it is the living form of
the Church as a whole, fed directly by the Gospel. Popular piety is
a sign that the faith is spreading its roots into the heart of a people
in such a way that it reaches into daily life. Popular religiosity is the
first and fundamental mode of “inculturation” of the faith. While it
must always take its lead and direction from the liturgy, it in turn
enriches the faith by involving the heart.

We have thus moved from the somewhat negative clarifica-
tions, initially needed, to a positive definition of private revelations.
How can they be classified correctly in relation to Scripture? To
which theological category do they belong? The oldest letter of
Saint Paul which has been preserved, perhaps the oldest of the
New Testament texts, the First Letter to the Thessalonians, seems
to me to point the way. The Apostle says: “Do not quench the Spirit,
do not despise prophesying, but test everything, holding fast to
what is good” (5:19-21). In every age the Church has received the
charism of prophecy, which must be scrutinized but not scorned.
On this point, it should be kept in mind that prophecy in the biblical
sense does not mean to predict the future but to explain the will of
God for the present, and therefore show the right path to take for
the future. A person who foretells what is going to happen responds
to the curiosity of the mind, which wants to draw back the veil on
the future. The prophet speaks to the blindness of will and of rea-
son, and declares the will of God as an indication and demand for
the present time. In this case, prediction of the future is of second-
ary importance. What is essential is the actualization of the defini-
tive Revelation, which concerns me at the deepest level. The pro-
phetic word is a warning or a consolation, or both together. In this
sense there is a link between the charism of prophecy and the
category of “the signs of the times”, which Vatican II brought to light
anew: “You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky;
why then do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Lk
12:56). In this saying of Jesus, the “signs of the times” must be
understood as the path he was taking, indeed it must be under-
stood as Jesus himself. To interpret the signs of the times in the
light of faith means to recognize the presence of Christ in every
age. In the private revelations approved by the Church—and there-
fore also in Fatima—this is the point: they help us to understand
the signs of the times and to respond to them rightly in faith.

The anthropological structure of private revelations

In these reflections we have sought so far to identify the theo-
logical status of private revelations. Before undertaking an inter-
pretation of the message of Fatima, we must still attempt briefly to
offer some clarification of their anthropological (psychological) char-

acter. In this field, theological anthropology distinguishes three forms
of perception or “vision”: vision with the senses, and hence exterior
bodily perception, interior perception, and spiritual vision (visio
sensibilis - imaginativa - intellectualis). It is clear that in the visions
of Lourdes, Fatima and other places it is not a question of normal
exterior perception of the senses: the images and forms which are
seen are not located spatially, as is the case for example with a
tree or a house. This is perfectly obvious, for instance, as regards
the vision of hell (described in the first part of the Fatima “secret”)
or even the vision described in the third part of the “secret”. But the
same can be very easily shown with regard to other visions, espe-
cially since not everybody present saw them, but only the “vision-
aries”. It is also clear that it is not a matter of a “vision” in the mind,
without images, as occurs at the higher levels of mysticism. There-
fore we are dealing with the middle category, interior perception.
For the visionary, this perception certainly has the force of a pres-
ence, equivalent for that person to an external manifestation to the
Interior vision does not mean fantasy, which would be no more
than an expression of the subjective imagination. It means rather
that the soul is touched by something real, even if beyond the
senses. It is rendered capable of seeing that which is beyond the
senses, that which cannot be seen—seeing by means of the “interior
senses”. It involves true “objects”, which touch the soul, even if
these “objects” do not belong to our habitual sensory world. This is
why there is a need for an interior vigilance of the heart, which is
usually precluded by the intense pressure of external reality and of
the images and thoughts which fill the soul. The person is led beyond
pure exteriority and is touched by deeper dimensions of reality,
which become visible to him. Perhaps this explains why children
tend to be the ones to receive these apparitions: their souls are as
yet little disturbed, their interior powers of perception are still not
impaired. “On the lips of children and of babes you have found
praise”, replies Jesus with a phrase of Psalm 8 (v. 3) to the criticism
of the High Priests and elders, who had judged the children’s cries
of “hosanna” inappropriate (cf. Mt 21:16).
“Interior vision” is not fantasy but, as we have said, a true and
valid means of verification. But it also has its limitations. Even in

exterior vision the subjective element is always present. We do not
see the pure object, but it comes to us through the filter of our
senses, which carry out a work of translation. This is still more
evident in the case of interior vision, especially when it involves
realities which in themselves transcend our horizon. The subject,
the visionary, is still more powerfully involved. He sees insofar as
he is able, in the modes of representation and consciousness avail-
able to him. In the case of interior vision, the process of translation
is even more extensive than in exterior vision, for the subject shares
in an essential way in the formation of the image of what appears.
He can arrive at the image only within the bounds of his capacities
and possibilities. Such visions therefore are never simple “photo-
graphs” of the other world, but are influenced by the potentialities
and limitations of the perceiving subject.
This can be demonstrated in all the great visions of the saints;
and naturally it is also true of the visions of the children at Fatima.
The images described by them are by no means a simple
expression of their fantasy, but the result of a real perception of a
higher and interior origin. But neither should they be thought of as
if for a moment the veil of the other world were drawn back, with
heaven appearing in its pure essence, as one day we hope to see
it in our definitive union with God. Rather the images are, in a manner
of speaking, a synthesis of the impulse coming from on high and
the capacity to receive this impulse in the visionaries, that is, the
children. For this reason, the figurative language of the visions is
symbolic. In this regard, Cardinal Sodano stated: “[they] do not
describe photographically the details of future events, but synthesize
and compress against a single background facts which extend
through time in an unspecified succession and duration”. This
compression of time and place in a single image is typical of such
visions, which for the most part can be deciphered only in retrospect.
Not every element of the vision has to have a specific historical
sense. It is the vision as a whole that matters, and the details must
be understood on the basis of the images taken in their entirety.
The central element of the image is revealed where it coincides
with what is the focal point of Christian “prophecy” itself: the centre
is found where the vision becomes a summons and a guide to the
will of God.

An attempt to interpret the “secret” of Fatima

The first and second parts of the “secret” of Fatima have already
been so amply discussed in the relative literature that there is no
need to deal with them again here. I would just like to recall briefly
the most significant point. For one terrible moment, the children
were given a vision of hell. They saw the fall of “the souls of poor
sinners”. And now they are told why they have been exposed to
this moment: “in order to save souls”—to show the way to salvation.
The words of the First Letter of Peter come to mind: “As the outcome
of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls” (1:9). To reach
this goal, the way indicated —surprisingly for people from the Anglo-
Saxon and German cultural world—is devotion to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary. A brief comment may suffice to explain this. In biblical
language, the “heart” indicates the centre of human life, the point
where reason, will, temperament and sensitivity converge, where
the person finds his unity and his interior orientation. According to
Matthew 5:8, the “immaculate heart” is a heart which, with God’s
grace, has come to perfect interior unity and therefore “sees God”.
To be “devoted” to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means therefore
to embrace this attitude of heart, which makes the fiat—“your will
be done”—the defining centre of one’s whole life. It might be objected
that we should not place a human being between ourselves and
Christ. But then we remember that Paul did not hesitate to say to
his communities: “imitate me” (1 Cor 4:16; Phil 3:17; 1 Th 1:6; 2 Th
3:7, 9). In the Apostle they could see concretely what it meant to
follow Christ. But from whom might we better learn in every age
than from the Mother of the Lord?

Thus we come finally to the third part of the “secret” of Fatima

which for the first time is being published in its entirety. As is clear
from the documentation presented here, the interpretation offered
by Cardinal Sodano in his statement of 13 May was first put per-
sonally to Sister Lucia. Sister Lucia responded by pointing out that
she had received the vision but not its interpretation. The interpre-
tation, she said, belonged not to the visionary but to the Church.
After reading the text, however, she said that this interpretation
corresponded to what she had experienced and that on her part
she thought the interpretation correct. In what follows, therefore,

we can only attempt to provide a deeper foundation for this inter-
pretation, on the basis of the criteria already considered.
“To save souls” has emerged as the key word of the first and
second parts of the “secret”, and the key word of this third part is
the threefold cry: “Penance, Penance, Penance!” The beginning of
the Gospel comes to mind: “Repent and believe the Good News”
(Mk 1:15). To understand the signs of the times means to accept
the urgency of penance – of conversion – of faith. This is the cor-
rect response to this moment of history, characterized by the grave
perils outlined in the images that follow. Allow me to add here a
personal recollection: in a conversation with me Sister Lucia said
that it appeared ever more clearly to her that the purpose of all the
apparitions was to help people to grow more and more in faith,
hope and love—everything else was intended to lead to this.
Let us now examine more closely the single images. The an-
gel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls
similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat
of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that
the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer
seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged
the flaming sword. The vision then shows the power which stands
opposed to the force of destruction—the splendour of the Mother
of God and, stemming from this in a certain way, the summons to
penance. In this way, the importance of human freedom is under-
lined: the future is not in fact unchangeably set, and the image
which the children saw is in no way a film preview of a future in
which nothing can be changed. Indeed, the whole point of the vi-
sion is to bring freedom onto the scene and to steer freedom in a
positive direction. The purpose of the vision is not to show a film of
an irrevocably fixed future. Its meaning is exactly the opposite: it is
meant to mobilize the forces of change in the right direction. There-
fore we must totally discount fatalistic explanations of the “secret”,
such as, for example, the claim that the would-be assassin of 13
May 1981 was merely an instrument of the divine plan guided by
Providence and could not therefore have acted freely, or other similar
ideas in circulation. Rather, the vision speaks of dangers and how
we might be saved from them.

The next phrases of the text show very clearly once again the
symbolic character of the vision: God remains immeasurable, and
is the light which surpasses every vision of ours. Human persons
appear as in a mirror. We must always keep in mind the limits in the
vision itself, which here are indicated visually. The future appears
only “in a mirror dimly” (1 Cor 13:12). Let us now consider the indi-
vidual images which follow in the text of the “secret”. The place of
the action is described in three symbols: a steep mountain, a great
city reduced to ruins and finally a large rough-hewn cross. The
mountain and city symbolize the arena of human history: history
as an arduous ascent to the summit, history as the arena of hu-
man creativity and social harmony, but at the same time a place of
destruction, where man actually destroys the fruits of his own work.
The city can be the place of communion and progress, but also of
danger and the most extreme menace. On the mountain stands
the cross—the goal and guide of history. The cross transforms de-
struction into salvation; it stands as a sign of history’s misery but
also as a promise for history.
At this point human persons appear: the Bishop dressed in
white (“we had the impression that it was the Holy Father”), other
Bishops, priests, men and women Religious, and men and women
of different ranks and social positions. The Pope seems to precede
the others, trembling and suffering because of all the horrors around
him. Not only do the houses of the city lie half in ruins, but he makes
his way among the corpses of the dead. The Church’s path is thus
described as a Via Crucis, as a journey through a time of violence,
destruction and persecution. The history of an entire century can
be seen represented in this image. Just as the places of the earth
are synthetically described in the two images of the mountain and
the city, and are directed towards the cross, so too time is pre-
sented in a compressed way. In the vision we can recognize the
last century as a century of martyrs, a century of suffering and
persecution for the Church, a century of World Wars and the many
local wars which filled the last fifty years and have inflicted unprec-
edented forms of cruelty. In the “mirror” of this vision we see pass-
ing before us the witnesses of the faith decade by decade. Here it
would be appropriate to mention a phrase from the letter which
Sister Lucia wrote to the Holy Father on 12 May 1982: “The third

part of the ‘secret’ refers to Our Lady’s words: ‘If not, [Russia] will
spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and
persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy
Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated’”.
In the Via Crucis of an entire century, the figure of the Pope
has a special role. In his arduous ascent of the mountain we can
undoubtedly see a convergence of different Popes. Beginning from
Pius X up to the present Pope, they all shared the sufferings of the
century and strove to go forward through all the anguish along the
path which leads to the Cross. In the vision, the Pope too is killed
along with the martyrs. When, after the attempted assassination
on 13 May 1981, the Holy Father had the text of the third part of the
“secret” brought to him, was it not inevitable that he should see in it
his own fate? He had been very close to death, and he himself
explained his survival in the following words: “... it was a mother’s
hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted
at the threshold of death” (13 May 1994). That here “a mother’s
hand” had deflected the fateful bullet only shows once more that
there is no immutable destiny, that faith and prayer are forces which
can influence history and that in the end prayer is more powerful
than bullets and faith more powerful than armies.
The concluding part of the “secret” uses images which Lucia
may have seen in devotional books and which draw their inspira-
tion from long-standing intuitions of faith. It is a consoling vision,
which seeks to open a history of blood and tears to the healing
power of God. Beneath the arms of the cross angels gather up the
blood of the martyrs, and with it they give life to the souls making
their way to God. Here, the blood of Christ and the blood of the
martyrs are considered as one: the blood of the martyrs runs down
from the arms of the cross. The martyrs die in communion with the
Passion of Christ, and their death becomes one with his. For the
sake of the body of Christ, they complete what is still lacking in his
afflictions (cf. Col 1:24). Their life has itself become a Eucharist,
part of the mystery of the grain of wheat which in dying yields abun-
dant fruit. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians, said
Tertullian. As from Christ’s death, from his wounded side, the Church
was born, so the death of the witnesses is fruitful for the future life

of the Church. Therefore, the vision of the third part of the “secret”,
so distressing at first, concludes with an image of hope: no suffer-
ing is in vain, and it is a suffering Church, a Church of martyrs,
which becomes a sign-post for man in his search for God. The
loving arms of God welcome not only those who suffer like Lazarus,
who found great solace there and mysteriously represents Christ,
who wished to become for us the poor Lazarus. There is some-
thing more: from the suffering of the witnesses there comes a puri-
fying and renewing power, because their suffering is the actualiza-
tion of the suffering of Christ himself and a communication in the
here and now of its saving effect.
And so we come to the final question: What is the meaning of
the “secret” of Fatima as a whole (in its three parts)? What does it
say to us? First of all we must affirm with Cardinal Sodano: “... the
events to which the third part of the ‘secret’ of Fatima refers now
seem part of the past”. Insofar as individual events are described,
they belong to the past. Those who expected exciting apocalyptic
revelations about the end of the world or the future course of his-
tory are bound to be disappointed. Fatima does not satisfy our cu-
riosity in this way, just as Christian faith in general cannot be re-
duced to an object of mere curiosity. What remains was already
evident when we began our reflections on the text of the “secret”:
the exhortation to prayer as the path of “salvation for souls” and,
likewise, the summons to penance and conversion.
I would like finally to mention another key expression of the
“secret” which has become justly famous: “my Immaculate Heart
will triumph”. What does this mean? The Heart open to God, puri-
fied by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons
of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed
the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the
world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our
world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this
world, as we see and experience continually; he has power be-
cause our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But
since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered hu-
man freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no
longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that pre-

vails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I
have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima in-
vites us to trust in this promise.

Joseph Card. Ratzinger

Prefect of the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith


Editor's Preface ......................................................................... 5

Introduction to Sister Lucia’s Memoirs ...................................... 7
A Biographical Sketch of Lucia ................................................. 8
Lucia’s Literary Qualities ........................................................... 10
The Kind of Literature called “Reminiscences” ......................... 13
Theme of the Memoirs .............................................................. 15


Introduction ............................................................................... 33
Prologue ................................................................................... 34
1. Prayer and Obedience ....................................................... 34
2. Keeping Secrets ................................................................ 34
3. To Jacinta ........................................................................... 36

1. Her Natural Characteristics ............................................... 36
2. Her Sensitiveness .............................................................. 38
3. Her Love for the Crucified Saviour .................................... 39
4. Her Delicate Sensibility ...................................................... 40
5. She Looks and Learns ...................................................... 41
6. Jacinta, the Little Shepherdess ......................................... 42
7. The First Apparition ........................................................... 44
8. Reflecting on Hell .............................................................. 45
9. Conversion of Sinners ....................................................... 46
10. Family Opposition .............................................................. 48
11. Love for the Holy Father .................................................... 50
12. In Prison at Ourém ............................................................ 52
13. The Rosary in Jail .............................................................. 53
14. And Finally... the Dance ..................................................... 53

1. Prayers and Sacrifices at the Cabeço ............................... 54
2. Troublesome Interrogations ............................................... 55
3. The Saintly Father Cruz ..................................................... 56
4. Graces through Jacinta ..................................................... 56
5. More and More Sacrifices ................................................. 57


1. Jacinta’s Illness .................................................................. 58
2. Visit from the Blessed Virgin .............................................. 59
3. In the Hospital at Ourém .................................................... 60
4. Return to Aljustrel .............................................................. 61
5. Renewed Visits from the Blessed Virgin ............................ 62
6. Leaving for Lisbon ............................................................. 63
7. Epilogue ............................................................................. 64


Introduction ............................................................................... 65
Foreword ................................................................................... 66


1. Lucia’s Childhood .............................................................. 67
2. Popular Entertainments ..................................................... 68
3. Lucia’s First Communion ................................................... 69
4. Our Lady of the Rosary Smiles at Lucia ............................ 71
5. Eager Expectancy ............................................................. 71
6. The Geat Day .................................................................... 72
7. Lucia’s Family .................................................................... 73
8. In Retrospect ..................................................................... 74


1. A Mysterious Presage in 1915 .......................................... 75
2. Apparitions of the Angel in 1916 ....................................... 76
3. Trouble at Home ................................................................ 80
4. Apparitions of Our Lady ..................................................... 82

5. Lucia’s Doubts and Temptations ........................................ 84
6. Encouragement from Jacinta and Francisco ..................... 86
7. Lucia’s Mother has her Doubts .......................................... 88
8. The Administrator’s Threats ............................................... 89
9. Trouble in Lucia’s Family .................................................... 90
10. Lucia’s First Spiritual Director ............................................ 91
11. Imprisonment at Ourém ..................................................... 92
12. Penances and Sufferings .................................................. 93
13. September 13th ................................................................. 94
14. Lucia’s Spirit of Sacrifice ................................................... 95
15. A Tall Visitor ....................................................................... 96
16. October 13th ...................................................................... 97
17. Questioned by Priests ....................................................... 98


1. Lucia Goes to School ........................................................ 101
2. Lucia and the Parish Priest ................................................ 102
3. Companions in Sympathy and in Sacrifice ........................ 104
4. Government Opposition ..................................................... 106
5. Lucia’s Mother Falls Seriously Ill ....................................... 108
6. Lucia’s Father Dies ............................................................ 109
7. Serious Illness of Lucia’s Cousins ..................................... 110
8. Lucia in Poor Health .......................................................... 112
9. Lucia’s First Meeting with the Bishop ................................ 114
10. Farewell to Fatima ............................................................. 116
Epilogue ................................................................................... 117
1. Further Memories of Jacinta .............................................. 117
2. Lucia’s Magnetic Personality ............................................. 118
3. Lucia’s Excellent Memory .................................................. 119

Introduction ............................................................................... 121
Prologue ................................................................................... 122
1. What is the Secret? ........................................................... 122
2. The Vision of Hell ............................................................... 123
3. Lasting Impression on Jacinta ........................................... 124

4. Lucia Looks Back .............................................................. 127
5. The Immaculate Heart of Mary .......................................... 127
6. Jacinta’s Visions of the Holy Father ................................... 128
7. Visions of War .................................................................... 129
8. Lucia Explains her Silence ................................................ 131
9. Jacinta and the Immaculate Heart of Mary ....................... 132
Epilogue ................................................................................... 134


Introduction ............................................................................... 135

Prologue ................................................................................... 136
1. Confidence and Abandonment .......................................... 136
2. Inspiration in the Attic ........................................................ 136
3. Unction of the Spirit ........................................................... 137

1. His Spirituality .................................................................... 138
2. Natural Inclinations ............................................................ 140
3. Francisco Sees the Angel .................................................. 141
4. Impressions of the First Apparition .................................... 143
5. Impressions of the Second Apparition .............................. 145
6. Francisco Strengthens Lucia’s Courage ............................ 146
7. Impressions of the Third Apparition ................................... 147
8. Francisco in Prision ........................................................... 147
9. Impressions of the Last Apparitions .................................. 149
10. Anecdotes and Popular Songs .......................................... 150
11. Francisco, the Little Moralist .............................................. 154
12. Francisco, Lover of Solitude and Prayer ............................ 156
13. Francisco Sees the Devil ................................................... 158
14. Francisco and His Feathered Friends ................................ 158
13. Francisco’s Love and Zeal ................................................. 160
14. Francisco’s Illness .............................................................. 163
15. Francisco’s Holy Death ...................................................... 165
16. Popular Songs ................................................................... 166


Prologue ................................................................................... 168

1. Apparitions of the Angel .................................................... 158
2. Lucia’s Silence ................................................................... 173
3. The 13th of May, 1917 ....................................................... 174
4. The 13th of June, 1917 ...................................................... 176
5. The 13th of July,1917 ........................................................ 177
6. The 13th of August, 1917 .................................................. 179
7. The 13th of September,1917 ............................................. 180
8. The 13th of October,1917 .................................................. 182
Epilogue ................................................................................... 183


1. A Wonderful Cure .............................................................. 184
2. The Prodigal Son ............................................................... 185


1. One Last Question ............................................................. 186
2. Jacinta, Reflection of God ................................................. 186
3. Jacinta, Model of Virtue ..................................................... 186
4. Francisco was Different ..................................................... 190
Epilogue ................................................................................... 192

APPENDIX I .............................................................................. 193

Texr of the great consecration of the Heart of Mary .......... 193

APPENDIX II ............................................................................. 196

Text of the request for the consecration of Russia ............ 197

APPENDIX III ............................................................................ 199

Execução Gráfica
Gráfica Almondina
Julho, 2007
Depósito Legal n.º 261 450/07
ISBN: 978-972-8524-20-3